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[P]
The Failure of the American Experiment

By Baldrson in Op-Ed
Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:55:25 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

A lot of Bush haters are United States citizens. Many feel they must now leave their country and renounce their citizenship, and feel trapped that they can't. Many Bush supporters are taking glee in encouraging them to do so, knowing full well many have no options for emigration. The problem is both "liberals" and "conservatives" have forgotten the United States is about much more than "democracy". It is about a laboratory of the States within which migration and eminent domain support the pursuit of happiness by providing a mutual defense system for peoples experimenting with their own widely varying belief systems.


In the wake of candidate Kerry's concession of defeat to Bush, many United States citizens believe they must migrate out of the United States, if not renounce their citizenships. The Senate is now even more dominated by Republicans. In 11 States, propositions to ban gay marriage were on the ballot, and in all 11 States gay marriage was banned. Many liberals are rightly concerned that the central government is going to turn against them and impose upon them uniform laws, applicable to all States, that are hostile to their pursuit of happiness.

Now is the time for liberals to reflect on the association between liberal policies and the centralization of powers that began in the Civil War. Is there a limit to the degree to which central government should uniformly govern all States? Should the United Nations ultimately take on the role of legislating uniform rules for all countries?

Usually, the answer to these questions are disturbingly totalitarian when coming from supposedly "liberal" people. Their success in getting central governments to support their views has shielded them from the structural problems with such centralization. However, now that both plebiscites (in the form of ballot propositions) and the highest voter turnout in US history has shown "democracy" can turn against liberal policies -- liberals can reflect and become enlightened as to the real nature of what has been called The American Experiment.

The Civil War, while a victory of self-determination of individual slaves, was a disaster for self-determination of groups of like mind -- "religion" as intended by the First Amendment. The federal government took on a role that was feared by the founders -- the arbitrer of differing beliefs among peoples rather than facilitating the pursuit of happiness by peoples of differing beliefs.

This failure of the intent of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion is coming home to roost against the liberal way of life. There is increasing danger that uniform Federal statutes will impose fundamentalist Christian ideology uniformly across all States. The gambit of using the federal government to impose liberal policies has worked for decades but the simple mathematics of reproduction is that white liberals have trouble reproducing and cannot easily recruit new liberals from white families that have reproduced under Federal imposition of liberal policies.

Demography is destiny.

Now it is true that within a few decades it may be the case that the higher reproduction rates of other ethnicities, prone to vote Democratic, will outstrip the fecundity of fundamentalist Christian whites -- but this too could backfire. Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group and they are largely Catholic. Despite the fact that they continue to vote Democratic, not only might they never fully convert to liberal politics -- there is a very real chance they may succeed in shifting the Democratic party toward the right on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Liberals have to ask themselves whether this deal with the devil of central power is worth the dangers to liberal ideology.

There must be a libertarian State, as many wish New Hampshire to become.

There must be a fundamentalist Christian state, as many wish South Carolina (the State with the highest per capita African American population) to become.

There must be a panmixia state, as New York is becoming.

There must be ethnostates, as Europe, Israel and the Amerindian reservations could still support.

There must be an east-west hybrid state as parts of Hawaii are becoming (with some islands reserved for indigenous Hawaiians).

There must be a "politically correct" state as California has become.

There must be a frontier for misfits, adventurers and downright dangerous experiments -- as the ocean deserts and space could be if interference with claims were prevented.

And even these aren't enough.

The problem is that all of these things represent true diversity which is the enemy of those who, in their profoundly destructive hypocrisy, equate "diversity" with intimate integration of diverse people within governments that cannot limit their interference in people's pursuit of happiness.

The fundamental conflict is between democracy as dispute processing and migration as dispute processing. Migration is superior, so long as eminent domain compensation applies, for the simple reason that it allows self determination for all value systems -- not just value systems that can produce the most invasive voters world wide.

The practicalities of eminent domain displacement are always problematic, but people do survive and the system does enhance the general welfare. More problematic than eminent domain itself is the general issue of natural habitat destruction due to humans. Human diversity should be valued but so should general biodiversity. How this tradeoff should work is beyond the scope of this essay, but suffice to say that human population, with the assistance of technology, should increasingly migrate to environments of less natural biodiversity. Humans should be subject to the eminence of the natural domain, so to speak, as they become more adept at life support technology and can increasingly migrate to otherwise lifeless environments.

As for me, even if much greater limits were placed on federal power, I expect I would renounce my United States citizenship and either (if Europe could support ethnostates by fending off the demographic shift to Islam and other migration-induced panmixia) repatriate to one of the North Sea states of Europe or invest my remaining years in opening up one of the frontier states. This would be my pursuit of happiness.

Can you pursue happiness without, like Christian or Islamic theocrats, imposing your value system on others?

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The Failure of the American Experiment | 277 comments (252 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
I am confused... (1.66 / 3) (#2)
by IndianaTroll on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 05:55:49 PM EST

What happened to Baldrson?

Your personal experiences don't mean diddly in a nation of 300 million people. jubal3
maybe? (none / 1) (#19)
by adimovk5 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 10:53:11 PM EST

Maybe he auctioned his name to someone on e-bay.

[ Parent ]
What? (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:46:23 PM EST

Look hard, the bizarre obsession with ethnic politics is still there. The vocabulary, the buzzwords. Fucker hides his racism behind big words.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
equitable distribution of resources (2.66 / 3) (#6)
by minerboy on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:02:54 PM EST

I agree that decentralized governments have some real advantages. But in your proposal, How would you be sure of an equitable division of resources. How would you stop encroachment of say the libertarian clan into the politically correct clans territory for economic reasons. Far more migration occurs for economic reasons these days, than political reasons.



20 acres and a mule needs elaboration (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by Baldrson on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:47:01 PM EST

I sort of alluded to your concern with the idea of "20 acres and a mule" as the connection between Jeffersonian Yeoman Farmers and the abolition of slavery. What I should probably discuss a bit more is the idea of citizenship, itself, as having some sort of non-monetary value that must be compensated under eminent domain force migration. Basically the idea is embodied in bankruptcy law by guaranteeing that certain "vital assets" are not subject to confiscation during bankruptcy procedings. These are intended to be subsistence assets such as one's residence and tools of one's trade. In former times -- those of the Jeffersonian Yeoman Farmer -- it would have been "20 acres and a mule" or the equivalent.

Now, how does this translate into modern terms? There are serious problems with monetizing such things as the fall of the Soviet Union demonstrated when state enterprises were privatized by giving the employees of the enterprises transferrable shares. They simply sold their shares to oligarchs who proceeded to recentralize things and perform even further evils upon the Russian people from their remote insularity. This is, I think, where the idea of "inalienable rights" comes into play. People must somehow have certain non-transferrable rights just because they are humans, that go with them wherever they migrate and aid them in acquiring land rights. This, in turns brings up the issue of inter-species competition -- or ecological diversity. My first instinct here is to somehow value indigenous flora and fauna so that the more unique biodiversity represented by an area, the less right humans have to the area. Human diversity and nonhuman diversity should be valued -- but the exact tradeoff is really beyond the scope of this essay.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

CTS is going to be pissed! (1.00 / 6) (#7)
by VoiceOfGod on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:10:53 PM EST

CTS will say somthing about.

You being a selfish prick.

Your pov sucks.

This will lead to instability and such.

He'll attack your emminent domain idea as a violation of rights.

From myself I think you should clarify the emenint domain thing.  As in keeping a state ideologically pure if it wants it. Also point out that Nelson Mandela supported having all white areas in south africa if they chose to do so. Can't find any links to back this up atm though.
cat /dev/america | grep "common sense"

Maybe that Nelson Mandela thing was BS. (none / 0) (#8)
by VoiceOfGod on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:23:02 PM EST

I don't think I'll be able to get in contact with the person who told me so any time soon.
cat /dev/america | grep "common sense"
[ Parent ]
0; vertical spam (none / 0) (#86)
by sllort on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:17:54 PM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
no (2.00 / 8) (#9)
by Liberal Conservative on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:43:59 PM EST

this is the end of the line

this was retro vs. metro

america #1 spoke

america #2 spoke

we are split 50/50 and who the fuck are we trying to kid

one side can't convince the other and vice versa

it is time for separation

starting with california

miserable failure

signed,
   liberal conservative

0; vertical spam (none / 0) (#85)
by sllort on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:16:49 PM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
A little Baldrson goes a long way (2.25 / 4) (#11)
by cryon on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 07:54:21 PM EST

I have often agreed with many of your previous comments here and on /. I also think that better quality of life could be provided for citizens if the countries are homogeneous. Seems like it is harder for the politicians to divide them with wedge issues. I would also like to see the USA broken up into many nations. I think all nations would be better off smaller and more homogeneous. But a little of you goes a long way. Some novelists write a better short story.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

self determination == ethnic clensing (1.66 / 3) (#115)
by Nyarlathotep on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:20:41 PM EST

America did not fail due to race.. and see title.  I'm willing to believe that its too big, and needs too be split up into constituant states or something.  But we are continuing to make reasonable progress on racial integration.  About the only thing we really need on the race front is "affirmative action in dating" to encurage mixed race couples.  Since we ought to do away with the tax breaks for breeders anyway, maybe we could just reserve those tax breaks for people who have mixed race or adopted kids.. or we could just teach "affirmative action in dating" in some sort of expanded high school sex ed / dating class (which would also cover lots of other things you should probably know about the opposite sex).

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
+1FP (1.33 / 6) (#12)
by Verbophobe on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:25:12 PM EST

More of this Baldrson, please.  I like it very much.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration
AND HOW! (1.33 / 3) (#17)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:25:38 PM EST

Articles like this are why I read K5 and bother to interact with you smarmy bastards. B's article reeks so strongly of truth that it just leaps of the screen and smacks you right in the face. I'd ... I'd KILL to be so insightful, but it seems that most of the time, I'm just angry. And that anger is an obstacle to reasonable expression.

If you want to see a very angry man who is nonetheless carefully erudite, go and read MLK's "Letter from Birmingham Jail". Great stuff (the writing, not the subject matter).


[ Parent ]
King, over-quotation, ghettoization. Panmixia? (2.60 / 5) (#35)
by Kasreyn on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:39:39 AM EST

That bit with the 6-year-old daughter gaining a cloud of inferiority has always sent chills down my spine. The cost in children's hopes and dreams is perhaps the most poignant of any social injustice.

"But mommy, why does America hate you and mommy? Why can't you be married?"

But I've also always felt that King relied too heavily on quotations in it. It almost starts to sound at some points as if he has no original thoughts of his own. I know that's not the case, and that he was about ten times as erudite as I hope to ever be. But over-quotation can sound pompous and show-offy. So I give it an 8 or 9 on writing quality.

As for Baldrson's article: he mentions that people have only the two options of hashing out their differences together (basically by majority rule), or by seperating geographically. He forgets the third option which has been historically popular: one side killing the other off. This seems to be both sides' current choice on the Islam vs. the West culture clash.

Also, Baldrson went even more overboard than King in showing off his vocabulary. Me no get allum big words. Panmixia? Durr.

In any case, I think ghettoization is among the worse possible fates for the world. Say we all divide ourselves up into a bunch of tiny nation-states with internally homogenous populations. Say just one of these nation-states gets aggressive and conquest-minded because their people would like bigger lawns and more resources. They begin to attack and conquer the other states, who either join in coalitions for self defense or begin their own conquests in imitation...

...sound familiar? This is what happened when human tribes came into existence a few hundred thousand years ago. The resultant turmoil is called "geopolitics". You can't wish it away, and ghettoizing yourself only assures you will be devoured eventually by someone with hybrid vigor.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Self defense (1.33 / 3) (#63)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:17:41 AM EST

...sound familiar? This is what happened when human tribes came into existence a few hundred thousand years ago. The resultant turmoil is called "geopolitics". You can't wish it away

What you can do is come up with a mutual defense system for those tribes who accept self-determiantion of others. If you have some tribe that decides the danger of this tolerance is too great -- that all others must be destroyed or dissolved in a mass -- then that tribe is genocidal under the definition given by the Geneva Conventions, and should be destroyed by the coalitions that will inevitably form in self-defense.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Which will never work (none / 0) (#78)
by Stickerboy on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:56:49 PM EST

Because one smart, aggressive tribe will figure out that they can come up with bullshit reasons for taking over their neighboring tribes, and then placate the remaining tribes by offering all sorts of carrots and promises that they won't go any farther.

"No, really, our beef was only with our neighbors!  Here's a free trade treaty, and a bunch of Neighbor A's oil that you wanted.  Now, you don't want to get into a really destructive war with us, when we can all live and benefit together in peace, right?"

[ Parent ]

Same problem exists at other scales... (2.50 / 2) (#88)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:22:03 PM EST

If you reduce things to a world of mobile individuals all running around doing their thing wherever, you will inevitably breed for a population of highly mobile sociopaths who will then take over whatever organs of power you think are immune to them.

At least if you reduce mobility and make people sleep in the beds they make you have a prayer of discovering which beds work and which don't.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#113)
by Sacrifice on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:01:32 PM EST

I'd always had a rather sci-fi go-humanity view of mobility and world-citizenship.  Clearly you have found a pretty resonant argument for the benefits of smaller, insular tribes - our evolved/instinctive mechanisms for defeating cheaters through social cooperation clearly don't scale to megapolises.

I'd still prefer to make attempts at addressing the problem through technological means; the downside of small towns is that certain types of abuses are more prone to persist (for the same insularity that protects from outside abuses) and the mobility of victims has always been less than I'd hope.

And, as others have pointed out, some sort of global moral agreement is necessary to prevent the tribal wars that we still see claiming 10^5-10^6 lives every decade.

[ Parent ]

We just recently had a perfect example of this. (none / 0) (#131)
by Kasreyn on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:26:16 AM EST

Just read the recent FP article on the rapes in the Pitcairn Islands. Sometimes even a small, isolated community results in internal injustice because their definition of "social cheating" (in this case, rape) is hijacked by a powerful interest and becomes vastly different from the global community's in general. I chalk this one up to the society being TOO small, such that you can't have smooth divisions and percentages because you can't divide single people in half.

I think the long-term solutions for the planet are threefold. Either we nuke ourselves back into the stone age or oblivion, or we bear out Orwell's prophecy, or we come up with a global government that allows local areas a great deal of cultural autonomy. That is to say, moral hegemonizing leads to Orwell, NOT to utopia. Even about things like rape, sadly. Once you step into a smaller area to enforce morality on a major (to you) issue, like rape, it will be irresistably tempting to begin dictating morality at the point of a gun in all aspects of the smaller group's society. Some have said if you save a man's life, you are responsible for him forever after. I say, if you take the reigns of morality out of a man's hands, you are stuck with them forever, and the only action you can take is to tighten them.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Ghettoizing (2.50 / 2) (#180)
by fyngyrz on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:54:57 PM EST

Not trying to start a flame war here, truly, but...

The US is, to some extent, one of these communities. One of over a hundred world communities. We are not just isolated by our geography, we are also significantly isolated by our society, our thinking and our traditions. Most Americans seem to like it. If they don't like it, they're not going to get to change it - they're more likely to find something elsewhere than they are to be able to inflict actual change upon the nation. IMHO.

Within the US, San Francisco is to some degree also one of these communities. The outlook is different, the level of tolerance is different, and there are constant attempts to enhance or intensify the situation so that it becomes "more" of what it is. A pair of mommies will do better there, for instance, than in the small town in which I live, where they very likely would be subject to some very harsh treatment - ostracism, legal approaches "for the benefit of the children", even physical intimidation and actual harm. I think - please do correct me if you know better, because I am making an assumption based on only a few months visiting there - that most San Franciscans are fairly happy with the considerably more liberal state of affairs in San Francisco, and if they aren't, they're more likely to leave than change the region.

What I am getting at here is that to clump like with like is not necessarily going to result in a "ghetto", at least in the classic sense. Sometimes it results in upscale neighborhoods. :)


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

2 problems (2.70 / 10) (#13)
by pyramid termite on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:29:40 PM EST

we possess individual rights, not collective ones as members of a self-indentified group ... those holding land in south carolina should not have to submit to a christian theocracy to continue to have their property

secondly ... go to the supermarket ... do you see nordic peas? ... black toilet paper? ... mexican cream of mushroom soup? ... it's not just (contemporary meaning) liberal politics that's integrated us ... it's (old-fashioned meaning) liberal economics that has done it ... and i think you'll find that the economics trump the politics of identity every time

the world you want would be economically inefficient ... people would be poorer ... people might sacrifice some things to be with "their own kind" ... but damn few in this society will ever sacrifice their standard of living


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.

no (2.66 / 6) (#15)
by speek on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:44:46 PM EST

we possess individual rights, not collective ones as members of a self-indentified group

Wrong. We don't possess any rights. What we have is an ability to create a community of people who choose to respect certain defined rights of others. But, if you force a particulare "social contract" on people from a place too far removed, then you preempt their opportunity to freely make that choice (to respect others' rights). What you have instead is neutered communitites and people who have little choice but to take their concerns to the highest level.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

2 answers (2.20 / 5) (#22)
by Baldrson on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:36:13 PM EST

we possess individual rights, not collective ones as members of a self-indentified group

Yes we do. Religions are recognized groups with rights named in the First Amendment. Indeed, if you try to claim religious protection under the first Amendment, a criterion applied by the government is whether you are a group or not.

the world you want would be economically inefficient ... people would be poorer ... people might sacrifice some things to be with "their own kind" ... but damn few in this society will ever sacrifice their standard of living

People spend mone to fill the voids left in their lives by being bereft of social connections. Indeed one of the tricks of marketing and globalization is to destroy social bonds so that people must buy back substitutes for what they lost. I'm simply demanding that people not be forced to submit to this torture.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Ummmm (2.00 / 2) (#39)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:32:49 AM EST

Indeed one of the tricks of marketing and globalization is to destroy social bonds

Any chance you could expand on that one a bit? Links would be apreciated.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Ray Kroc perfected the art. (none / 1) (#233)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 05:12:43 PM EST

If you want an example of commercial interests obliterating social connections in order to sell a lifeless imitation, go no further than McDonalds. One of the first things Kroc did when he took over the McDonalds brand was choose where to site his first franchise store.

He chose: right next to the McDonald's restaurant, the original one, the owners of which he had bought the rights from. They were driven out of business soon after, and Ray Kroc could start undercutting mom-and-pop diners across the country, then the world.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

No I meant a real example; (none / 0) (#259)
by Sesquipundalian on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 10:07:16 AM EST

You know like special ops guys doing "Oracle of Delphi" shit to sabotage public education programs in developing eastern-block countries, in order to sow the seeds for the subsequent Wallmart invasions and such.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
i buy peas, toilet paper, and cream of mushroom .. (1.50 / 2) (#41)
by pyramid termite on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:22:29 AM EST

... soup because i'm bereft of social connections? ... do tell


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]

not food, TP, etc. (none / 1) (#54)
by LilDebbie on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:50:42 AM EST

you buy things like Halo 2, Cable Television, k5 premium subscriptions because you're bereft of social connections

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
More problems with the idea (none / 1) (#73)
by hatshepsut on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:52:49 PM EST

I (and many like me) would not want to give up our easy access to "foreign" foods, "foreign" films, and other nice luxuries that are much more readily available in a mixed society.

None of the above would be nearly as easy to obtain, if I were to live in some bizarre enclave populated only by "my own kind".

Then there is the question of who "my own kind" would be. I am a 6th generation Canadian, whose ancestors hailed from England, Ireland and Scotland (some were protestant and some were catholic). By ethnicity, I am a WASP, but frankly, I don't necessarily feel any more affinity for WASPs as any other definable group (and since I'm not Protestant, I don't know whether I actually count as a WASP anyway). I speak English and French (and a little Spanish, but not enough to matter), I prefer heavily spiced foods to more bland offerings, and have visited/lived in 4 of the 7 continents.

So, not only would I not want to change my standard of living and easy access to highly varied goods and services, I wouldn't even know with whom I should identify most anyway.

[ Parent ]

Foreign foods? (none / 0) (#260)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 11:41:10 AM EST

Bah! I'll stick with real American foods - like pizza!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I call for a moratorium! (1.80 / 10) (#14)
by wobblywizard on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 08:37:07 PM EST

No articles, diaries and comments on politics for the next two weeks! That would give this place a little cool-down period in which -mayhap- some interesting stories might show up...

Ok, now the elections are over, Bush has won, Kerry has not and that is that. Please, join my cause and make K5 interesting to read again! You can start right now, by -1ing each and every politics story...

Discuss ;-)

With an article like THIS ... (2.50 / 6) (#18)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:26:56 PM EST

... from Baldrson, I find K5 very interesting to read NOW.


[ Parent ]
Something else happened post-Civil War (2.80 / 10) (#16)
by media girl on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:13:10 PM EST

After the Civil War, to stimulate Reconstruction (albeit mostly in the North), the government lifted controls on corporations, and this began the long slipperly slide of corporations into personhood.  Now corporations, even foreign corporations with American boards for image purposes, have more American civil rights than American citizens.  We can talk about the centralization of government, but it's a disservice to ignore that corporate monopolies and oligopolies came to being after the Civil War.  I'm not so sure just letting them go gonzo would be good for this country.  They are not invested in American interests at all.
--
media girl
you have a reason for saying this? (none / 1) (#20)
by khallow on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:13:45 PM EST

Now corporations, even foreign corporations with American boards for image purposes, have more American civil rights than American citizens.

Name a right that a corporation has that an individual doesn't have.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

The right to kill? (2.66 / 6) (#21)
by Tyler Durden on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:35:17 PM EST

Corporations have an implict right to kill large numbers of people without fear of execution.  The typical enforcement action is some sort of financial action.  That is not the case with people.  Corporations enjoy the same privileges as individuals, without the hassles.  

Individuals and corporations are equal under the law just like Bill Gates and some welfare guy living in a trailer home in rural Mississippi are equal.  That is to say, they're not.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

no, they don't (1.25 / 4) (#23)
by khallow on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 11:52:28 PM EST

Corporations have an implict right to kill large numbers of people without fear of execution. The typical enforcement action is some sort of financial action. That is not the case with people. Corporations enjoy the same privileges as individuals, without the hassles.

No. Corporations don't have the right to kill large numbers of people.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Oh, how foolish of me... (2.33 / 3) (#25)
by Tyler Durden on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:13:02 AM EST

No. Corporations don't have the right to kill large numbers of people.

Now I see the obviousness of your argument. Please forgive me for not seeing the truth earlier.

I guess you're right. Ford never did a cost-benefit analysis and decided that it was cheaper to let people be injured and die than fix a design flaw with the Pinto. That must just be part of some drug incuded hallucination of mine. Yeah, that must be it.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

ford never did that (none / 1) (#26)
by forgotten on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:19:16 AM EST

some ford executives did that.


--

[ Parent ]

Proof complete, thank you. (1.66 / 3) (#27)
by Tyler Durden on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:39:53 AM EST

some ford executives did that.

Hmmm. You've established my contradiction for me. Ford is its the sum of its parts. The Ford entity is a collection of people and other material resources, bound up in a legal construct. If you want to separate the two (like you did), then why does the shell deserve the special rights it has (i.e., the rights of an individual person under the law). If you do not split them, then the Ford entity caused the deaths of many people, but escapes with a fine.

You cannot have it both ways, no matter how hard you wish it were so. But the reality is that no disctintion is made, and so corporations wind up getting it both ways. The entity gets all the rights of an individual, but when something goes wrong, the entity is not held responsible, blame falls through to the people inside.

I don't know if it's necessarily wrong, but it clearly is not rational.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

IANAL, but (none / 1) (#28)
by forgotten on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:08:11 AM EST

if a corporation kills someone, you may sue the corporation for damages, and any criminal charges can still be brought against individuals involved within the company, where appropriate. this seems quite rational to me.

the top-posters sentiment, that "corporations have more rights than people", is just something people say when they feel disenfranchised. it doesnt hold water under scrutiny.

--

[ Parent ]

Why not legal actor... (2.00 / 2) (#30)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:46:50 AM EST

Have companies be legal actors of the government. That, to my understanding takes away "personhood", and SHIFTS liability to VOTING stockholders and CEO. If something really bad, due to liability and prior knowledge (refusing to fix fatal problem in vehicles), you go after them for damages and criminal proceedings.

With our system, having the rights of a person WITHOUT the responsibility  is in effect having more rights.

[ Parent ]

shifts liabilty to stockholders? (none / 1) (#31)
by forgotten on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:01:01 AM EST

if you mean civil liability, they have it already (limited to the value of their investment, but that is a different matter. directors have additional liability).

if you mean criminal liability, thats patently absurd. would you be happy to be risking jail time because you own a few google shares?

--

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 1) (#45)
by killmepleez on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:32:41 AM EST

There are many things I'd like to be able to do without risking jail time. Oddly, society seems to believe it can pass laws to express its collective will and to protect itself from harm.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
answer the question (none / 1) (#49)
by khallow on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:18:18 AM EST

There are many things I'd like to be able to do without risking jail time. Oddly, society seems to believe it can pass laws to express its collective will and to protect itself from harm.

Should you face jail time because you hold 100 shares of Google and Google does something illegal?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Proportional Jail Time? (2.66 / 3) (#55)
by thejeff on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:00:44 AM EST

Not the OP, but yeah, divide the jail time up proportionally by number of shares and I'd do it. The guy with 10,000 shares of Google does 100 days and I do one. Sounds fair to me.

And the stock trading during the trial should be fun to watch.

[ Parent ]

It would be fair (2.40 / 5) (#74)
by pyro9 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:55:08 PM EST

If I have a vote with the option to sell my shares if I find the results of the vote unconscionable, then it is only fair that I could face a proportional criminal penelty for a criminal act commited on my behalf.

Consider, if I hire someone directly to commit a crime that will result in profit for me, do I face jail time? (Hint: YES!)

So, if I (as a shareholder) hire an executive board and instruct them (by voting) to commit crimes so that I will recieve a dividend, why SHOULDN'T I face jail time?

There would likely need to be considerations for the culpability. For example, voting against the crime would likely be a mitigating circumstance as would a good faith attempt to sell the stock shortly after the vote. The executive board acting against the vote (especially if that was hidden from stockholders) would be a mitigating factor (possibly exhonorating) unless the stockholder's ignorance was to a degree that it constituted negligence or if the ignorance was willful in an attempt to avoid criminal liability.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Uhm... (2.00 / 2) (#82)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:07:32 PM EST

...shareholders don't micromanage to the extent that they would ever be complicit in the commission of a crime. Shareholders voting to reward efforts at maximizing profit margins doesn't constitute complicity in any illegal efforts made in pursuit of such.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Cognitive Dissonance (1.00 / 2) (#217)
by Kuwanger on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:39:37 PM EST

I would say that this claim is counter-intuitive to logic, and for example the way in which the US has invaded Iraq.  In a partnership, an investor is held criminally liable for the acts of the partnership.  The reason for this is primary that there's an obligation for the investor to know what their money is being used for.  This is demonstrated in the way Bush has made it clear that funding terrorists (as an example) will see all parties involved punished, be them individuals in an investment group or states harboring members (the funding in this case being the providing of shelter).

So, it's hard for me to see the lines where a shareholder cannot be said to be responsible for knowing what his investment(s) are doing.  Nor can I really believe most crimes committed by corporations are for anything *but* efforts at maximizing profit margins, for which the shareholder is rewarded in dividends, stock splits, or an ability to sell the stock at a higher price.  So, it seems to me that most stockholders in a corporation that commits a crime would be punished at minimal for the negligent form of the committed crime.  I cannot see how it's okay to have collateral damage in the form of real lives in Iraq for many people who are not directly or indirectly involved with Saddam or insurgents, but even the threat of stockholders possibly being held liable for a crime committed by the corporation which they *intentionally* invested in is washed away by law.  There clearly seems to be a policy in this that values investors over civilians.

[ Parent ]

Oh for fuck's sake... (none / 1) (#240)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 01:49:29 AM EST

Your analogy is a transparent and shameless appeal to the emotions, which ultimately serves only to confuse the issue.

In the first place, your claim, that "[i]n a partnership, an investor is held criminally liable for the acts of the partnership," is just plain false. With very few exceptions, criminal laws in the US apply exclusively to individuals and complicity is an necessary element of the crime. The closest thing in the US criminal code to what you're looking for are the federal RICO statutes, but they only apply to criminal enterprises.

Secondly, you seem to be under the assumption that most classes of corporate investors have unimpeded access to all internal information about the business operations of the company they've invested in. They don't. Not even the Board of Directors has unlimited access, so how is the average investor supposed to investigate the activities of the companies she's invested in?

Placing the responsibility on the investor to assure that the company they're investing in has not, is not, and will not ever in the future engage in illicit activities is an assinine idea. You should also note that when a corporate officer commits a crime in his official capacity, it represents a criminally and civilally actionable act against the class of all investors, as it is an abrogation of their feduciary reponsibility.

Add to the above the fact that the primary effect of your proposed abuse of the criminal justice system would be to curtail nearly all forms of capital investment (bringing the economy to dead halt) and you have the makings monumental stupidity of epic proportions.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Negligent (none / 1) (#220)
by pyro9 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:13:53 PM EST

...shareholders don't micromanage to the extent that they would ever be complicit in the commission of a crime.

You are correct, they do not. I maintain that that is negligent, and should be recognized as such. Should such a law come to pass (as much as I doubt it ever will), investors would be put on notice, and unless they are fools, they would START looking long and hard at what efforts are being made on their behalf. That is as it should be.

Currently, the stock market is the only case where you have no legal duty whatsoever to ensure that they don't commit crimes in the course of their employment.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
conditionally good point (2.00 / 2) (#174)
by khallow on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:16:48 PM EST

If I have a vote with the option to sell my shares if I find the results of the vote unconscionable, then it is only fair that I could face a proportional criminal penelty for a criminal act commited on my behalf.

If common shareholders ever did vote to enable an illegal action, then you'd have a point. The point here is that as a common shareholder, I'd never be involved in an illegal activity because any business person intelligent enough to commit a financial crime isn't going to clue a few thousand or more shareholders into the details.

Instead, what I'm hearing here is that you're willing to jail someone even if they had nothing to do with the crime. They didn't commit the crime, they didn't support it in a material way. Odds are that they didn't benefit from the crime even. Instead, they just happen to have some say in who runs the company and maybe a few high level details like who the accounting firm will be.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

mitigated (none / 1) (#219)
by pyro9 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:02:18 PM EST

I did indicate that a good faith effort to sell the stock would be mitigating. While I said voting against would also be mitigating, I was assuming voting stock. In the case of common stock, the lack of voting right would be mitigating as well.

Of course, if such principles were made law, stockholders would know about it. They wouldn't suddenly become culpable for past actions since that would be ex-post facto.

I imagine that if such laws were passed, stock holders would start insisting on being better informed and would start exercizing oversight. They would become interested in the ethical character of the companies they were about to invest in.

Consider, if you hire someone who promises to make your problem go away, and he accomplishes that by (without your express knowledge or consent) breaking the law, you WILL be answering some tough questions for the police and, possibly, a grand jury.

We all know that, and so we typically avoid hiring shady characters without asking a lot of questions.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Indeed... (none / 1) (#239)
by Shajenko on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 12:01:19 AM EST

Instead, what I'm hearing here is that you're willing to jail someone even if they had nothing to do with the crime. They didn't commit the crime, they didn't support it in a material way. Odds are that they didn't benefit from the crime even.
They likely didn't even know about the crime, until charges were brought.

It'd be something like the following case: you hire somebody to do something, say, run the register at your store. He takes it upon himself to kill one of your competitors, without asking you. Then, the police charge you with a crime because the guy works for you (knowing that you didn't know anything about the crime).

I think most people would say that this is insane.

[ Parent ]
Corporations are people in a legal sense (none / 0) (#253)
by schyler23 on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 01:07:28 PM EST

there was a court case i can't remember off the top of my head(* vs. santa clarita?), but it established that corporations have the exact same rights as any american human.

[ Parent ]
you don't make your point (2.33 / 3) (#48)
by khallow on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:15:59 AM EST

I see this mistake made again and again on K5. Just because someone can do something doesn't mean that they have a right to do something. Just because I could rape without getting caught (say because I'm the son of a powerful politician) doesn't mean that I have the right to rape.

The problem here isn't that corporations have too many rights, but that laws aren't being enforced.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

tell it to the dying and dead (1.33 / 3) (#203)
by speek on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 12:27:43 PM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Why? (none / 0) (#242)
by khallow on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:31:16 AM EST

I'm making a valid point and frankly you aren't.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Examples (3.00 / 9) (#57)
by media girl on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:01:37 AM EST

Corporations can cause grievous harm to individuals due to their action or inaction, and face only possible civil penalties, while individuals doing the same would face criminal charges.

In fighting such civil suits, corporations can write off all legal expenses as legitimate tax deductions as just a cost of doing business, while individuals have to pay for all legal services with after-tax money to sue them.  This also has implications in the corporate lawsuits against p2p sharers of media.  The corporations write off the expenses, while the individuals pay or go into debt to defend themselves with after-tax income.

Corporations have blanket licenses to pollute the environment (within certain parameters) while individuals face stiff fines and possible prison terms.

Just a few for starters.
--
media girl
[ Parent ]

Er... (2.00 / 2) (#89)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:24:12 PM EST

Corporations can cause grievous harm to individuals due to their action or inaction, and face only possible civil penalties, while individuals doing the same would face criminal charges.

If an action or inaction represents a criminal act, then the individuals responsible are criminally liable whether they did so independently or in their official capacity as a corporate officer. The idea of assigning criminal liability to a corporation itself is nonsensical.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
hmmm, better (2.50 / 2) (#135)
by khallow on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:25:34 AM EST

This is a better response.

Corporations can cause grievous harm to individuals due to their action or inaction, and face only possible civil penalties, while individuals doing the same would face criminal charges.

As mentioned in the other reply, executives make the decisions and thus bear the criminal charges. Further, corporations are a legal fiction. They don't act in any useful sense.

In fighting such civil suits, corporations can write off all legal expenses as legitimate tax deductions as just a cost of doing business, while individuals have to pay for all legal services with after-tax money to sue them. This also has implications in the corporate lawsuits against p2p sharers of media. The corporations write off the expenses, while the individuals pay or go into debt to defend themselves with after-tax income.

This seems a reasonable complaint. But can't any business (eg, sole proprietorships and partnerships) do this? It's not just limited to corporations.

Corporations have blanket licenses to pollute the environment (within certain parameters) while individuals face stiff fines and possible prison terms.

Environment regulation is notoriously screwed up. But I don't find your arguments compelling here.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Are you sure about pollution? (2.66 / 3) (#157)
by Polverone on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:43:31 PM EST

"Corporations have blanket licenses to pollute the environment (within certain parameters) while individuals face stiff fines and possible prison terms."

Individuals get away with a lot. You can burn plastic in your fireplace, flush gallons of used motor oil down the toilet, and dispose of old batteries in your ordinary trash. Some of that may be illegal, depending on where you live, but enforcement is virtually nonexistent.

I have some sympathy for the EPA-hating businessman. I know somebody who works as the environmental protection and occupational safety/health manager for a large printing and packaging plant. He must file his paperwork in a timely and correct manner or face possible fines and even jail time. The government agencies to which he reports are under no such time constraints, so they don't even read what he sends until 3-4 months after the fact. Yet it must be received on time, or he could be in trouble. He spends most of his time doing paperwork, and relatively little actually working to improve environmental or worker protection. Missing paperwork is a crisis, while pollution itself is (as you pointed out) tolerated within certain parameters.

It's actually small businesses that escape scrutiny most effectively. They're likely to generate more wastes/pollution than ordinary private individuals, but they don't undergo the heavy burden of inspection and compliance that corporations do.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Corporate Law and Rights (none / 0) (#277)
by Matsu on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 01:58:57 PM EST

Corporations have their own courts and laws which are not the same as ordinary citizens. They have a different tax structure. The corporate veil is a reality.

The real question is WHY do corporations exist and why are businesses given the rights of a citizen? The raw financial power of a corporation would be treated very differently if the "citizen" were an actual flesh and blood person. Case in point, Cecile Rhodes who had his own country - Rhodesia. Yet there is political answerability for a nation whereas corporations slip across boarders in a way that individual humans cannot.

We have the fiction of stockholders and the quaint image of the little old lady, knitting perhaps, and clipping her coupons when in fact corporate stock is held in large blocks by financial institutions - they are the ones clipping their coupons.

Corporations act in behalf of stockholders - that is they are self-serving as a human being might be, but again, why set up a legal fiction that is a self-serving interest which in aggregate can wield far more power than any individual. if anything a corporation acts more like a government than an individual.

The reason for corporations is three fold as any graduate of the Harvard Business School will tell you. 1) To create jobs and revenue that the government can tax, 2) almost a corollary, to take on projects that are too daunting for individuals or partnerships, and 3) in all this operate in the public good.

The last one is the most troublous of the concepts - operating in the public good. In the Restatement of Agency a famous Corporate Law professor introduced the discussion of Mathew 6:24 - okay, it was a Puritan University - and the issue is God and mammon. Can we serve two masters?

Corporate managers serve the stockholders and if Neutron Jack's retirement package is any measure, themselves as well.

If it were an individual, it would be different. After DuPont bought General Motors in 1921 with their war profits, Pierre DuPont handpicked Alfred T. Sloan to run the day to day affairs, but until 1964, the DuPonts, in effect, had controlling interest of GM and operated through interlocking directorates. Pierre was very clear that he did not want to give Sloan too much compensation and wanted to making Sloan have to really work for it. A very different landscape from GE where managers serve Stockholders and mammon - but not the American people or individual taxpayers who bear the brunt.

The corporate managers worry about stockholders and if it means moving jobs off-shore, so what as long as the bottom line is strong.

Is that why we are willing to give a group of businessmen the right to be treated as a citizen?

Human beings cannot merge into other human beings and control entire industries. Human beings are not be "chartered."

We have accepted the divine right of corporations the way people did in times past the divine right of kings. Why should some guy have special rights to run things?

In a country where those who do not pay taxes rule those who do, should we be surrendering our jobs and the means of production to a group that is not really answerable to the nation under whose charter these corporations operate? Just like Reagan could decertify the air traffic controllers union, it is in the power of the states to revoke the corporate charter of corporations that are not meeting the three basic reasons that corporations are allowed to operate.

Reagan turned Marx on his side when Reagan said that government has never produced anything and that we need to set limits on government. Going back to Reagan's pseudo-Marxian argument, Marx actually said that corporations produce nothing - it is the workers who do.

Time to put a curb on corporations and their ability to operate as quasi-governments.

Time to say these modern Emperor's aren't wearing the clothes that they claim.

[/rant]

[ Parent ]

Uniform Code (2.40 / 5) (#77)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:36:33 PM EST

The main problem is with the uniform commercial code's imposition of uniform rules governing corporate operations. If some states disallowed the limited liability veil then the agents of those entities would be individually liable just as though they had been in a partnership.

We could then see how the impact of limited liability affects the public good by comparing states.

As always the existence of uniform code is seductive and destructive to ferreting out the truth.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

poor Baldrson (2.50 / 8) (#24)
by Lode Runner on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:08:03 AM EST

He was either born 200 years too late (thus missing the American westward expansion) or 200 years too early (thus missing the push into space and into the seas).

It pains me... (2.57 / 7) (#33)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:14:51 AM EST

...but I'm actually going to vote this up. Jimbo's a fuckin' wingnut, but he's also an unquestionably clever wingnut and there's more than just a grain of truth to be found in this article.

I consider it one of the great political ironies of my lifetime that, when speaking from a generic perspective of fiscal conservatism, the Democratic party has replaced the Republicans as the lesser evil. Now you could reasonably argue that this shift says less about Democratic changes than Republican ones, but the fact remains that the strongest voices cautioning us about the growing ratio of debt to GDP are increasingly to be found within the Democratic stable. Four more years of the Bush administration could well prove enough to disrupt the inertia which keeps many fiscal conservatives in the Republican camp.

I'm hoping the Democrats can pull off another reversal and become the party of federalism. Now before you smirk and dismiss me as a loon, consider a couple of things: 1) the party of John Ashcroft has no business calling itself the party of federalism, and 2) federalism is, at least to some extent, the most obvious refuge of the opposition. Taken together the above two points suggest that the historical Republican commitment to federalism was more a consequence of their status as the legislative opposition party than a reflection of some essential ideological character.

America needs a Westphalian solution to many of those intractable issues which divide it along pretty predictable regional and demographic lines. Will the Democrats, from their increasingly weakened position, recognize that gun laws which make perfect sense for New York don't necessarily make any sense whatsoever in Texas or Georgia? Can the residents of San Fransisco tolerate a Utah which mandates a patient undergo a pro-life biased counseling session prior to an abortion?

The Democratic party retains tremendous power within most of the blue states, and their dominant position remains essentially unchallenged in almost every major urban center across the country. I predict that in the coming years arguments in favor of decentralized power are going to become increasingly appealing to the Democratic base.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


You might be on to something here (2.33 / 3) (#68)
by Heywood Jablome on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:02:29 PM EST

I think what we're seeing in the triumph of "movement conservativism" is the seduction of power. True conservatives (I guess now called paleo-cons) are way out of step with the centralized, big-government party we have in today's GOP. As you point out, a lot of this may be attributable to "when you are in power, you tend toward centralized control, when you're out of power you favor a more distributed system"

I don't think you can separate the Democratic party from the interest groups and agenda that have defined it since the 1930's. Too much baggage. The national Democrats have already drunk the kool-aid and will serve as the "loyal opposition" to provide a compliant backdrop for the GOP agenda.

The "blue" residents are going to be favorably disposed toward federalism, however, now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. For 60 years they've been imposing "blue" social policies across the nation. Now it's the "reds" who have all the power, and will soon be imposing their social standards on the rest of us.

The divide between red and blue could not be clearer. It's urban vs. rural, and it's becoming clear that they don't like us and we don't like them. What we need is a new political party that defends the interests of urban Americans by asserting a federalist/constructionist view of the Constitution. IMO, that would translate to arguing for such things as dismantling the IRS and eliminating Social Security as a national program.



[ Parent ]

Whether it's the Democrats... (none / 1) (#80)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:02:32 PM EST

...or some as yet unformed party, a political party which embraced the minimal restraints of fiscal sanity (if not real fiscal conservatism), promoted social liberalism, and fought for a federalist agenda would garner my support. But dismantling the IRS? Now you're veering off into fantasy land. Let's keep to the realm of the possible.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
How about reform the IRS? (2.00 / 2) (#96)
by Heywood Jablome on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:55:47 PM EST

Seriously, have you seen the tax code? It's the most ridiculous thing. Rather than Congress rewarding certain interest groups with direct cash grants, they put it in the tax code.

How about a party platform that says rewrite the tax code and put some sort of limiting mechanism to prevent it from bloating into an obfuscated backdoor mechanism for graft?

I agree with the concept of a progressive tax, but the current incarnation is horribly flawed.

[ Parent ]

Sure... (none / 1) (#105)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:55:40 PM EST

Reform is reasonable, but dismantling the IRS is well beyond the limits of political possibility.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Agreed, but some complexity is inevitable ... (none / 1) (#111)
by Sacrifice on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:48:25 PM EST

There are very real questions about what constitutes income, that need to be nailed down, lest the idle hobbyists in the middle class and paid minions of the upper class figure out ways to take their payment in forms not accounted for.

Some part of the complexity of the tax code is devoted to making sure that most of the money churning through the economy is taxed (at least) once ... the rest is, as you say, an abomination of subsidies disguised as tax deductions/exceptions/credits.

I too favor of a simplified, progressive (not flat) tax system.  Not that anyone really believes in unfettered free markets any more, but in deductions act as market-distorting incentives (in some cases this is explicitly used as the rationale; e.g. tax credits for cutting down on pollution via electric golf-carts), with the same putative drawbacks as communist centrally planned economies.

[ Parent ]

How about this? (none / 1) (#158)
by Polverone on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:59:31 PM EST

"There are very real questions about what constitutes income, that need to be nailed down, lest the idle hobbyists in the middle class and paid minions of the upper class figure out ways to take their payment in forms not accounted for."

How about we suppose that the government has a right to tax paid work because the government provides the monetary system and banking/investment regulations that make payments in cash, stock options, electronic money transfers, etc. reliable and practical in the first place.

On the other hand, if a carpenter and an accountant trade some work for each other's services, the government can keep its mitts off. The government had nothing to do with their transaction. The same would be true for other barter-type arrangements. Use the modern government-backed financial system and pay your toll. Otherwise keep it all to yourself.

Now we can reform the tax code so that we simply ignore transactions that take place without modern financial conveniences, instead of trying to account for every special case.

Apart from being a frothingly mad idea that could lead to ad-hoc private monetary systems, is there anything wrong with this?
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

LP (none / 1) (#170)
by Canar on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:39:06 PM EST

Congratulations, you've just described most of the elements that libertarians believe in.

[ Parent ]
conservatism started that way... (none / 0) (#186)
by ChiChiCuervo on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:41:31 PM EST

What is interesting about your observation is that the modern conservative movement, built by William F. Buckley in the 50s and early 60s was precisely an URBAN-oriented constitutionalist philosophy.

It was not until the Christsylvanians were invited into the GOP by Reagan in 1980 that the social authoritarian tendencies began to take root

[ Parent ]

+1FP, a conservative who thinks. (1.66 / 3) (#36)
by Kasreyn on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:42:47 AM EST

Even if I think he's wrong on a few points.

Baldrson, I am impressed.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
+1 FP Jim Bowery is my president (1.83 / 6) (#42)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:08:32 AM EST



Baldrson... (3.00 / 4) (#127)
by Patrick Bateman on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:08:36 AM EST

Fuck Yeah!

---
I have to return some videotapes.
[ Parent ]

HAHAAHHA +1 FP (none / 1) (#137)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:59:50 AM EST

i'd buy one but i'm sure the government puts you on some kind of list

[ Parent ]
OMG... (none / 0) (#143)
by skyknight on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:34:57 AM EST

That's hilarious.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Hmmm. so you're saying (2.50 / 2) (#43)
by dteeuwen on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:15:01 AM EST

let's break up the country. Well, given the history and the beginnings of the country, you don't begin a non-revolutionary country through revolution. And, history repeats itself.

If the US is the same, large shape it is tight now, and not a number of smaller countries by 2050, I'll be very surprised.

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


No I'm saying get back to the US's roots (2.33 / 3) (#52)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:47:04 AM EST

The idea of different states having radically different social systems was severely damaged by the institution of slavery and the solution adopted. The real problem with slavery is that it violated self-determination. If it had been treated that way, rather than conflating it with arguments for federal vs state, then it would have created a stronger union, not a weaker one and in all likelihood the civil war could have been avoided and by example most of the wars and highly pathological movements of the 20th century could have been avoided.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Damn Ambiguous 9th and 10th amendments... (none / 0) (#252)
by schyler23 on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 12:53:31 PM EST

I believe that we should have allowed the South to secede, and there were prominent voices advising just that. Horace Greley: "Wayward Sisters, Go in Peace" I disagree with the conventional wisdom that the civil war was primarily about slavery. Obviously slavery was an important devisive issue, but the primary factor(s) were economic and political. However, no longer are the primary polarities geography based on "north" and "south"; but "urban" and "other." This complicates a solution as we return to the parent argument, in short "voting with one's feet." People living in urban areas have likely already voted with their feet and left their roots in rural areas. Certainly stronger states rights would create more concrete differences between "red" and "blue" and would likely precipitate some sort of migration of ideologues.

[ Parent ]
Idea regarding move to Canada (1.20 / 5) (#46)
by bobpence on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:47:23 AM EST

First, let me admit I didn't read the whole thing because, given its author, it will be voted down soon enough.

Now, those who want to move to Canada have essentially been told by the Canucks 'get in line - the end of the line.' But, Great White Northerners, if you let in these people first, we'll have room for more of the people who were already in line to get into Canada but who really wanted to come to the U.S., while you and our ex-fellow citizens slide further into Euroweenieness with your free-and-worth-it health care. For every disgruntled ex-Amerikkkan you take, we'll take two of the people on your list who want to get ahead through hard work and risk taking, and shoot a third because he or she is a terrorist who wants to attack the United States by slipping past your lousy immigration system and our lousy Canadian border stations.

Deal?


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

It's american border stations (none / 1) (#126)
by levesque on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:20:54 PM EST

when you cross into the states.

[ Parent ]
so by your logic (2.71 / 7) (#50)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:29:43 AM EST

We could either (1) split up the country into a score or more new countries through great pain and expense or (2) enforce the Constitution's provisions regarding freedom of religion in the country we already have.

I vote #2.

However I am nearly disturbed by your insights into the liberal history of turning a blind eye to centralisation of power, after so many articles of incoherency.

In short, though, centralised power should exist to ensure that all Americans are secure in their rights; religion, speech, and so on. I will absolutely not support a proposal which would result in the defranchisement of a single person's individual rights; your proposal would force people to revoke their property rights or become beholden to a theocracy, for example.

Also, are you familiar with panarchy?

(And an aside: I don't know of any liberals out there going door to door, forcing people to have gay sex. I don't know of any liberals out there going door to door, forcing expecting mothers to get abortions. However conservative moral policy results in using force to prevent individual people from doing activity "x". I'm sorry, but "pursuit of happiness" does not extend to the great feeling of forcing those around you to be unhappy.)

I still have some hope that centralised power will remain Constitutional. Federal revocation of abortion rights is perhaps the most complex issue; gay marriage obviously harms noone and outlawing it violates the Constitution. The problem is the decidedly un-Constitutional tax subsidies which are already being taken by force from the people and redistributed to heterosexual married couples. In fact that is the root of most of these issues; forcible transfer of property. Pro-life has recently begun using the tack of "no tax funds should be used to kill babies", a compelling argument, to be sure, but instead of outlawing abortion, this could easily be remedied by... not using tax funds to kill babies. Those who want to abort their zygote/fetus/parasite/baby can use their own money, or money collected willingly for this purpose.

I don't want money taken from me and given to a church; this is one of the reasons I dislike faith-based initiatives and school vouchers. Joe in Nebraska doesn't want money taken from him and used to perform an abortion, educate African-Americans, or re-build hurricane-destroyed roads in Florida.

There are a few ways to solve these issues; dissolution of the country being a very poor one.

One of my favorite moral questions is: what is it moral for a group of people to do which is not moral for an individual to do? In America, we have apparently answered that as "just about anything!" which is, I believe, the wrong answer. It would be immoral of me to walk over to Joe and forcibly take money out of his pocket and go buy myself a hybrid car. Yet thousands of Americans in the past few years have gleefully accepted large tax deductions for buying hybrid cars -- money which comes from a group of people forcibly taking property from Joe.

Anyway this post is already becoming vertical spam... +1 to the article, but "you're still Baldrson, and you're still wrong!" ;]
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Read on eminent domain (none / 0) (#51)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:40:47 AM EST

The common law tradition of eminent domain is embodied in the US Constitution. You should read up on it. To be honest I thought it was something everyone had covered in high school civics. Eminent domain is mandatory sale a fair price. It is used all the time to good effect in cities.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

I don't understand (none / 0) (#53)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:47:06 AM EST

What point(s) were you debating by bringing up eminent domain? I have absolutely no point of reference for your remarks.
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[ Parent ]
Revocation of property rights (none / 1) (#56)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:01:32 AM EST

your proposal would force people to revoke their property rights or become beholden to a theocracy, for example.

Eminent domain compensation recognizes property rights.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

ah (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:07:18 AM EST

While I mostly dislike with eminent domain to begin with, there is a subtle difference between:
  1. the state needs a bit off the edge of your farm to build a road. here is a fair amount of money, sorry for the inconvenience.
  2. if you want to keep living here, you'll be subject to the laws of a religious theocracy -- sorry if that makes you a criminal. if you want to go, fine, here's some money.
Could you elaborate slightly more on how your proposal still ensures individual rights of self-determination for women and minorities? Thanks. The answer "they can move to a state which supports their rights" is not an answer I can live with; a person should not be forced to choose between, on the one hand "freedom and some fair money" and on the other hand their property, their family and friends, and so on.
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[ Parent ]
Zoning and belief (1.00 / 2) (#66)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:29:23 AM EST

You are all the time threatened with the alternative of being made a criminal if you don't comply with zoning laws. That's why fair compensation for loss of property rights demanded when zoning laws change.

What if your belief about what constitutes public good differs from the zoning commission? Do your individual rights prevail? What beliefs do we protect as religious beliefs? What beliefs do we exclude from zoning definitions of public good?

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

zoning commission likely illegal (none / 1) (#75)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:27:10 PM EST

those are good, valid, and interesting questions. Again, I don't like the notions of eminent domain. To me, there are likewise very few cases of zoning laws which I agree with; for example, it would not be so great to have a coal plant in the middle of several public parks and playgrounds. but that is less a question of "zoning" than of your action (pollution) interfering with the individual rights of your neighbors -- the proper outcome but the wrong basis.
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[ Parent ]
Compelling State Interest (none / 0) (#133)
by PowerPimp on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:23:27 AM EST

That's the standard the courts have used.
You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
No... (2.00 / 2) (#175)
by fyngyrz on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:22:18 PM EST

Eminent domain compensation recognizes property rights.

As someone who lost their home to federal government eminent domain (due to the never implemented Tocks Island Dam project, to be specific), I can assure you that property rights are in no way recognized by eminent domain. Property value is recognized, or at least given lip service. That is quite a different thing from rights. Your property rights, in point of fact, are ruthlessly stripped from you, and you are left with some money instead.

I had a satisfactory amount of money already and really wanted to keep my home.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Little symathy left for the likes of you. (none / 1) (#188)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 12:12:23 AM EST

As someone who lost their home to federal government eminent domain ... I had a satisfactory amount of money already and really wanted to keep my home.

Sorry but you're not going to get much sympathy from anyone but your fellows who also enjoy protection of your assets by sending off poor -- and I mean literally, asset-poor -- young men to for you.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Eh? (none / 0) (#189)
by fyngyrz on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:02:40 AM EST

What are you talking about?

Sympathy? I have no interest in sympathy, I was simply pointing out that your statement was incorrect.

What does this mean:

"to for you" ???

You sure are an interesting character. :)

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Read between the words... (none / 1) (#191)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:13:31 AM EST

Fill in with "fight" and/or "die".

You aren't very interesting -- you are, however, disgusting. Guys like you aren't going to make it very far when the hits the fan.

Read between the words.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Oh, I get it... (none / 0) (#192)
by fyngyrz on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:26:44 AM EST

...you're hallucinating that you're psychic! How Fun!


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

School vouchers (3.00 / 2) (#84)
by tyrithe on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:09:53 PM EST

The school voucher issue is an issue that will always be a bit sticky. On the one hand, you're right about maybe not wanting your tax dollars to go to a religious cause. However, you do have people who are having to pay taxes to fund a school system they are not using. (Then again, there are also those of us who don't have kids that get hit with it as well.)

I do realize that there would be very ugly effects to forcing everyone to pay for their kids to go to school, especially when kids are required to go. I'm not really sure there is a way around that. There should be some kind of choice as far as schools go though. It seems like we're seeing the effects of a monopoly in the public education area: Quality keeps decreasing, but the costs keep rising.

[ Parent ]

school funding (none / 1) (#91)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:34:39 PM EST

In an ideal world:
  1. nobody would be taxed to support a school of any kind (religious or otherwise)
  2. people would pay for their own children's schooling
  3. those who could not afford to pay would find ready donations and encouraging support from large, well-funded, well-organised, non-descriminatory organisations
In our country, that organisation happens to be the government; unfortunately they receive their well-funded funds by violating part #1 there.

Unfortunately, a "free market" education system would almost assuredly violate the "non-descriminatory" part of #3, or #3 entirely. When "we" decided that "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" meant that every child was entitled to the same minimum level of education, the road we started down got pretty narrow.

I think universal public education is a noble goal; many do not. I don't have children; many do. We're all taxed for public schools, no matter our parental status or beliefs, however, a situation I dissagree with on principle.

Would relying on voluntary donations to inner-city schools be a good system? How about school-run lotteries to raise funds? There are various alternatives that almost nobody wants to talk about. Even the Libertarian party candidates simply say "stop the public school system" without offering an answer as to how those of us who would like to see it continue without public funds can provide for this.
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[ Parent ]

Why is this idea? (2.50 / 2) (#163)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:04:18 PM EST

You state that the situation you describe would be ideal, but don't explain why. Even some pretty hardcore libertarians supports public funding of education in a democracy. If all citizens have a say in how government works and what it does, having an informed and educated electorate is a common good. Everyone benefits from it. As such, everyone wants it, but noone wants to pay for it. If contributing to funding is voluntary, we could easily end up with a situation where there's poor education overall, and everyone is worse off than in the case where it is mandatory.

There're a whole lot of folks who are going to be voting on the leaders who will lead me and the laws I will have to follow. You have to deal with these leaders and laws too. I can think of few more important things than that we make sure these citizens are sufficiently educated to be able to make good choices, for all of our sakes.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

self determination (2.80 / 5) (#58)
by m a r c on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:01:51 AM EST

I find it interesting that you suggest that the problem of idealistic dispute between groups is migration. Shall there be no more tolerance such that if mine and your views disagree then we will each join our kindred in our own isolated states. Is this really humanity moving forward if we come to the conclusion that we agree to disagree?

I personally find it quite interesting to meet different people in my life, be that of different religious, philosophical or political ideal. I think it would be tragic that this could not occur because they have migrated into a self created state of like mindedness.

If we were to implement diversity by migration then why should these states not have complete self determination. Migration will not allow self determination for all value systems if in any way bounded by a central government. Any aspect which can be attributed to centralised goverment could arbitarily be argued to be controlled by the state. How then could you have centralised goverment at all?
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.

The pursuit of happiness (1.33 / 3) (#59)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:06:16 AM EST

I personally find it quite interesting to meet different people in my life, be that of different religious, philosophical or political ideal. I think it would be tragic that this could not occur because they have migrated into a self created state of like mindedness.

Don't mistake your pursuit of happiness for that of others. You appear to believe you know better than they what they should do to pursue happiness.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

on happiness (3.00 / 3) (#64)
by m a r c on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:21:22 AM EST

i don't assume that what makes me happy will make others so, this is a journey that each person must take by themselves. But I do believe that your suggestion will not make society any more harmonious. It is certainly easier to be a racist or a bigot when surrounded by other racists and bigots who all think this behaviour is ok. Harder when you know someone and see them as a person first. But by your logic, they are happy in their own way so it would be wrong of me to question this.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]
limits (2.33 / 3) (#87)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:19:51 PM EST

if pursuit of happiness is the most important feature of our way of government, then if rape and torture make me happy, I should be free to go out and rape and torture people?

We don't need geographic isolation. Panarchy now.

That said, you misrepresent some of the parameters of the American experiment; namely that while the Constitution does purport to provide freedoms for the pursuit of happiness, and so on, it also has a lot of language ensuring equal protection for all.

People whose ideas of pursuing happiness violate the Constitutional protections for equal rights can move to Pitcairn, or some other uninhabited wilderness island.

In other words, there aren't laws against being a bigot, or a racist, or a sexist, or wanting to torture people. So go forth, hate people and picture yourself torturing them. Your right to swing your arm ends where your fist hits my face, or something like that.

If your idea of pursuing happiness is involuntary servitude, or relegation of women to a second-class status; sorry, there is no room for practicing this idea in the United States, or anywhere else on the world for that matter. Why? Because it is not a valid idea. Why? Because it violates the inalienable rights possessed by the people you harm.
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[ Parent ]

As an aside, (none / 1) (#62)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:13:52 AM EST

you could argue that the internet itself is an argument against your assertation, and shows that given the chance, people will tend to congregate with people that agree with them, and expell and ignore those that do not.

In my opinion, kuro5hin is, by and large, a shining example of this process in action.

[ Parent ]

is it? (2.50 / 2) (#65)
by m a r c on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:26:52 AM EST

I would not come to this place if all that happened was people sitting round going "yeah, aren't we all right". I like the fact that people have different ideas than me. If I want reinforcement of my own ideas then I would not come to a place where they can anonymously attacked, prehaps even for sport (a.k.a trolling). Do people really come here to seek validation for their own ideas?
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]
It's not as simple as that. (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by waxmop on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:03:04 PM EST

The Internet allowed all the weirdos scattered out across the world to connect to eachother. Sure, there's lots of gated communities that shout down opposing viewpoints, but there's also new subcultures that have reached that self-sustaining critical mass that would not have been possible before.
--
Limberger is the angeldust of cheese.
[ Parent ]
+1, quality article (2.60 / 5) (#61)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:08:21 AM EST

As opposed to +1, empty headed propaganda that happens to be on the side you agree with.

I know a lot of Christians, and I tell them that using government power to legislate their beliefs will ultimately come back to bite them in the butt. But they are human beings, just like liberals, and they will never really believe it until a group that wants to stick it to them gets in power.

Still, even if they agreed I'm not sure it would solve the real problem anyway.

Would drastically changing the power balance between the federal government and the states be a gain for individual freedom, or would it just change the appearence of the conflict?

Does it really make a difference when the conflict is between states (or nations), as opposed to being between groups within a state? You could argue as Balderson has that conflict between groups within a state leads to an unacceptable situation for the minority group. You could also make a case that conflict between states leads to war much more often than in-state conflict, with all the terrible downsides that come with armed conflict. You could argue that laws protecting individual freedom such as the constitution and the bill of rights are the best protection that minority groups have, or you could argue that force of arms, including possibly terrorism, guerilla warfare, or the jackpot: nuclear weapons, are the only way for a small group to ensure it's survival. There are certainly many examples of all these methods being tried by various groups in the world today, and history is full of states growing and splitting up again.

Perhaps the structure of the United States would act to reduce or eliminate war between the states, even if they were given much greater autonomy. I'm not convinced it would make a difference. It's already happened once, and if the rest of the world is any indication, it will happen again, under the right circumstances.

Historically trade has been a powerful force for tying various groups together. See the European Union in modern times, for example. Will ease of commerce be enough to hold it together, with all it's diversity of groups and historical animosity?

I don't want to believe in imposing my moral system on others, which is why I lean libertarian, and why I tend to agree with Balderson. However I'm not at all sure that the powerful exercising their power over the weak isn't simply a fact of life, and about as easy to change as a law of physics. Maybe there's no escape from the fact that life is all about imposing your beliefs, or at least some of them. What I do know is that I don't have the answers.

difference between legislating beliefs ... (none / 1) (#79)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:58:15 PM EST

... and legislating protection of beliefs.

I know a lot of Christians, and I tell them that using government power to legislate their beliefs will ultimately come back to bite them in the butt. But they are human beings, just like liberals, and they will never really believe it until a group that wants to stick it to them gets in power.

Classical liberals (also know as "libertarians") use government power (almost exclusively) to legislate protection for diverse beliefs. These would include: non-discrimination on the basis of gender, race, nationality, religion, sexuality, and so on.

Even conservative justices should overturn the various discriminatory "definition of marriage" iniatives as un-Constitutional, until such a time as the first amendment of the United States Constitution is amended. (This seems likely to happen, actually.)

Alternatively, Constitutional conventions could examine Article IV, Section 2 (particularly "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.") and suggest changes.

Also, parts of Article VI might be of interest: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Or how about Amendment XIV, Section 1: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Personally, though, I would rather they took a good look at repealing Amendment XVI. I could forgive a lot of things the conservative socialist party (as opposed to the liberal socialist party) have done or might do if they manage to accomplish this.
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[ Parent ]

Libertarian discrimination (2.33 / 3) (#92)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:40:46 PM EST

Classical liberals (also know as "libertarians") use government power (almost exclusively) to legislate protection for diverse beliefs. These would include: non-discrimination on the basis of gender, race, nationality, religion, sexuality, and so on.

This isn't true of libertarians.

Libertarians believe that discrimination on any basis whatsoever is a private concern. The only thing they demand is that failures that arise due to wrong discriminations not be subsidized. For example, a libertarian view of discrimination would not, itself, discriminate between discrimination on the basis of academic credential and discrimination on the basis of some obvious phenotype like skin color.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

explain? (none / 0) (#94)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:43:36 PM EST

The only thing they demand is that failures that arise due to wrong discriminations not be subsidized.

I don't follow this statement. Help?
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[ Parent ]

Denying one's self competent associates. (2.00 / 2) (#97)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:58:50 PM EST

The theory is simple: Bigotry in, say, employment denies one's self the assistence of the best qualified individuals. This puts one at a disadvantage to businesses that aren't bigoted. No state intervention is needed.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

so (1.50 / 2) (#102)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:56:34 PM EST

Allowing bigotry in most employment will have the direct effect of displacing thousands of "minority" people from their property. There are no business disadvantages in employing a capable "majority" burger-flipper vs. a capable "minority" burger-flipper. There are no business disadvantages in employing a capable "majority" accountant vs. a capable "minority" accountant. Without anti-descrimination employment laws, bigoted employers have carte blanche to arbitrarily fire "minority" employees and work with their bigoted friends to deny them employment.

We've seen this kind of state before: Spain at the dawn of the 16th century. Germany in the mid-20th. Both followed racist policies with genocide.
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[ Parent ]

A job is a contract. (1.50 / 2) (#104)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 04:31:38 PM EST

Allowing bigotry in most employment will have the direct effect of displacing thousands of "minority" people from their property.

The employment contract entered into requires the free consent of two people. It is only property after it is entered into.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

not referring to the employment contract (1.50 / 2) (#149)
by zenofchai on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:27:43 PM EST

If person A cannot find employment in region B due to the descrimination of population C, he will have to move to region D to find work. To do this he must give up his property in region B.
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[ Parent ]
The Thing About Liberalism (2.40 / 5) (#67)
by NeantHumain on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:54:09 AM EST

Liberalism is a philosophy that encourages a multitude of opinions and points of view by designing governmental institutions and laws that foster such an environment. Liberalism is more accomodating to everything from hard-left communism to extreme-right fundamentalist Christianity and free-market conservatism precisely because a liberal tenet is that differing opinions will allow for the best ideas to flourish (a market of ideas). Conservatism, on the other hand, seems to include ad-hominem attacks on policy dissidents (e.g., unpatriotic, pinko, "liberal," etc.) and imposing a rigid set of moral views on everyone--Christian or not.


I hate my sig.


Problem is, (none / 1) (#69)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:02:56 PM EST

more accomodating than Christians and Commies is still not accomodating enough for some people. In any case, Balderson's main point is that it's moot anyway if liberals aren't in power. Funny thing, you need the power to enforce freedom, or someone will use it to enforce something else.

[ Parent ]
misread? (1.33 / 3) (#83)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:08:27 PM EST

more accomodating than Christians and Commies is still not accomodating enough for some people.

That's not what he wrote, he said more accomodating for beliefs ranging from [Christian theocrats] to [Socialists] to [Capitalists] and so on.

Perhaps I misread your comment, in that you meant to say that that going as far as complete socialism isn't far enough for some people; that going as far as Christian theocracy isn't far enough for some people. It is true, some people might want a state which not only has an official religion, but a mandatory one, where the punishment for not following this religion is death.

We've seen this kind of state before. The Inquisition, for example.

Panarchism seems more legitimate by the hour. A government which purports to persecute people on the basis of their religion, race, gender, or sexuality is simply not a valid government, followed directly by our assertion that all people are created equal, with inalienable rights.
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[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#95)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:50:31 PM EST

I wasn't taking issue with the 'liberalism is more accomodating for X' argument, just pointing out that being more accomodating isn't enough, or the right thing at all, in a lot of people's minds (non-liberals). You can't just say "Balderson's nuts because liberalism is already tolerant enough, it's their problem if they can't accept it."

Now that I think about it I did misread the OP (although maybe not the way you thought I did), because that's not really what he said either. I think the point was that liberalism should be able to accomodate these other viewpoints instead of wanting to split off, which is a valid argument that my post doesn't really address.

[ Parent ]

Not more accomodating than libertarianism... N/T (none / 1) (#70)
by weirdling on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:21:51 PM EST


I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
libertarianism -is- liberalism (2.33 / 3) (#76)
by zenofchai on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:32:50 PM EST

Hence the reason they are derived from the same word. Perhaps you have liberalism confused with the beliefs of the Democratic party? The Democratic party is often labeled "liberal" (as an insult) by "the right", but on many issues it hardly qualifies.
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[ Parent ]
By nordic sea countries (1.25 / 4) (#71)
by tetsuwan on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:23:53 PM EST

I guess you don't mean Sweden, Denmark or Norway? Maybe you would fit in in Finland, they don't accept colored people. Not so many Jews either, I think.

Also, I think paleo-conservatism is as far as you can get from Nordic social liberalism.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

Excellent point (none / 1) (#72)
by weirdling on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:26:59 PM EST

I particularly like the one about new frontiers.  If such were opened, I'd pick up and move in a heartbeat...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
-1, Demography is the path to war (1.50 / 6) (#81)
by Stickerboy on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:05:49 PM EST

You seem to think that isolating ourselves with like-minded individuals just like us is the way to global peace.

Historically, when mankind was divided into homogenous tribes like you seem to want, mankind was riven by warfare.  Genocide wasn't an aberration at the time, IT WAS A WAY OF LIFE.  Tribes would be hunted down to extinction by stronger neighbors over resources.

Little homogenous tribes would be excellent breeding grounds for groupthink, intolerance, and a pervasive attitude of us-vs-them and victimization.

The European states before World War I had a grand balance-of-power scheme with bloated alliances for "self-protection" and deterrence, just like you describe.  And let me tell you, it worked out perfectly.

-1, stifling debate (none / 1) (#93)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:41:29 PM EST

Replying to a story you disagree with: Good.

Voting down a well written, interesting and relevant viewpoint simply because you disagree with it: Bad.

[ Parent ]

How is this well-written? (2.00 / 3) (#130)
by Stickerboy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:57:25 AM EST

It's not even internally consistent. Check this out:

The federal government took on a role that was feared by the founders -- the arbitrer of differing beliefs among peoples rather than facilitating the pursuit of happiness by peoples of differing beliefs.

Okay, let's assume for a minute Baldrson actually has his fingers on the pulse of what the Founding Fathers feared. What exactly did our Founders think the federal government should do, in the inevitable case that the pursuit of happiness by people of differing beliefs came into conflict? Either they were all idiots, or they thought that the government should assume the role that John Locke (who, by the way, had a small influence on our Founders) envisioned for the government: as dispute arbiters.

Overall, it's an article that uses big, complicated words to dress up poorly supported points and assumptions. Just because it's been spell- and grammar-checked, and it's controversial, doesn't mean it's a good article. -1.

[ Parent ]

The real path to war... (2.25 / 4) (#100)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:35:21 PM EST

The attacks of 9/11/2001 and the war in Iraq are a direct consequence of attempting to enforce your views of dispute resolution on the rest of the world out of fear of the rest of the world's tribalism.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

You make no sense (none / 1) (#129)
by Stickerboy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:46:26 AM EST

First, you claim dispute resolution can be worked out successfully between nations in the article.  And then you claim here that dispute resolution (by one nation that happens to be stronger militarily) is the central cause of 9/11 and the Second Gulf War?

And you still haven't addressed my central point: balance-of-power politics (which your security model boils down to) has been tried over-and-over again historically by the Western world.  And it fails, spectacularly, every single time.  It didn't deter Napoleon.  It didn't deter Prussia from becoming an empire.  It didn't deter World War I from breaking out.  It didn't deter Hitler, or imperialistic Japan.  Can you name me a single empirical example when your model has been applied successfully?

[ Parent ]

Colde war. (none / 1) (#145)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:12:20 AM EST

The simple fact of the matter is that weapons of mass destruction are a deterrent. The absence of a nuclear war since WW II is proof of that.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Too simplistic (none / 1) (#190)
by Stickerboy on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:09:37 AM EST

Between the major combatants of the Cold War, yes, nuclear weapons were a deterrent.  

There were many sub-global wars in which nuclear weapons could have been used.  The US in Korea and Vietnam come to mind, and Afghanistan for the Soviet Union.

They weren't used, for good reason. The mass use of nuclear weapons is the ultimate sledgehammer - war not as an extension of politics but to simply blow your enemy, and everything of value within a large radius, out of existence.  Sure, the US could have wiped out the Chinese and North Korean armies in the 1950s with its nuclear arsenal, as MacArthur wanted.  But leaving the Korean peninsula a desolate wasteland for the next hundred years wouldn't constitute a victory for anyone - and that's before any sort of Soviet response is factored in.

The effects of a selective use of nuclear weapons can easily be duplicated through conventional means, without the drawbacks of going nuclear.

Now, would nuclear weapons owned by a rogue state be a deterrent against US military action?  In the right circumstances, yes - when there really isn't anything greater than nuclear proliferation at stake, or when diplomacy is a viable option to solving the crisis, for example.  

But if Rogue State A is threatening to nuke the United States seaboard unless its demands are met, or if Rogue State A goes on a regional rampage, all bets are off - the ownership of nuclear weapons would actually be a detriment, as the US military would have less constraints in both target selection and the means at its disposal to hit those targets until it was certain those nukes were out of operation.  At a bare minimum, I would expect every aspect of State A's civilian/military leadership, command and control functions, communications grids, and all likely launching/storage points to be hit, with an intent to obliterate, not to disable or neutralize, and certainly with no consideration of collateral damage.

So you see, nuclear weapons are not an a priori deterrent - the owner must play the nuclear card right, or it could come around to bite them in the ass.

[ Parent ]

"Rogue states" and national suicide (1.50 / 2) (#214)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 02:28:14 PM EST

In a world where WMD have proliferated, genuine "rogue states" are suicidal. They simply could inflict the damage you posit before they were disabled.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

The More You Have To Define Freedom... (2.66 / 6) (#99)
by blahh98 on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:13:55 PM EST

The Less Freedom You Have.

This is why the Constitution was left intentionally vague in so many areas. People must realize that all efforts to define and secure freedom come after other people have either threatened or undermined freedom. Creating ever more definitions of freedom in response to threats is like trying to draw a line in the sand, but what all too often ends up happening is that people draw a box, and subsequently stand inside it. They get so used to the box that even after the threat is gone, they remain, and only go outside of it when someone else extends the boundaries of the box. Then they fight those that they perceive as owners of the definition of where the lines are drawn.

However, it is all a mental construct. The United States of America, it's concept of freedom, property, commerce, values, is a collective myth and figment of peoples' imagination. That doesn't make it any less powerful or real, but it's important to return to this as a way to get outside the box. If you cannot see the box other people are trying to create for you, it will not exist, plain and simple.

We are at an historic time of change of a proportion never seen before in the history of all of humanity. Do not despair at the old institions and modes of thought trying in one last gasp to hold on. No power will be able to stop the transformation. We will experience mind blowing revelation after mind blowing revelation, and we'll finally stop being afraid of it. Fear of the power of revelation that exists in each and every human being has always been the greatest obstacle to lasting peace and harmony. Those who claim to have a monopoly on such revelation will have the clear awareness that it exists in every human at every time, only held back because they do not believe it exists. Faith, belief, mind, spirit, are tools, the most powerful tools known to man, but we need to start seeing them as a process like "technology" instead of a thing like "computer".

But when they put walls with bars on your box... (none / 1) (#181)
by aramis on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:03:12 PM EST

> If you cannot see the box other people are trying to create for you, it will not exist, plain and simple.

I can agree with a lot of what you said, but when other people are no longer content with drawing a box in the sand and instead decide that your box should have bars and that you should be wearing a bright orange jump suit in your box.....

It's kind of tough to unbelieve that kind of box, ne? You can only trancend others' limitations on you up to a point.



[ Parent ]
This is a good point (none / 1) (#195)
by the77x42 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:52:52 AM EST

Many have argued against a bill of rights and constitutions because it imposes limits on freedoms by writing certain things in stone. Freedom is also freedom to repeal, or freedom to choose not to be free.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
So Jimbo... (3.00 / 6) (#108)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:24:39 PM EST

What's the hegemonic minimum for the maintainence of a political union such as you envisage for the "laboratory of the states?"

No matter what degree of political and cultural independence the founders had in mind for the individual states, the degree of economic interdependence they evisioned makes each of us, at least partly, complicit in the sins of our neighbors. Clearly, under such circumstances, there is a limit to the degree of tolerance we can be expected to have.

Additionally, any community which exhibited extreme divergence from the cultural norms of its neighbors would be foolish to rely on them as part of a pact of common defense. You see, while I might well deign to tolerate the existence of the sort of silly little ethno-states which you obviously desire, don't expect me grab my musket and rush to your defense when the tribe of cracked up urban brothas next door invades and seeks to bitchify your asses--I'll be too busy laughing to do anything about it.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


Toleration vs Mutual Defense (1.66 / 3) (#109)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:34:23 PM EST

while I might well deign to tolerate the existence of the sort of silly little ethno-states which you obviously desire, don't expect me grab my musket and rush to your defense when the tribe of cracked up urban brothas next door invades and seeks to bitchify your asses--I'll be too busy laughing to do anything about it.

Clearly your attitude is not compatible with the sort of enlightened attitude upon which such a laboratory is founded. It is people like you who create an opening for Islam to displace western civilization.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Clearly... (3.00 / 5) (#112)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:59:30 PM EST

...your error is in underestimating the number of people who share my attitiude. And as for Islam, they're an annoyance right now, but if they were ever to become a real problem I have full faith in the white man's capacity for extraordinary acts of brutality.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Don't underestimate Islam (2.00 / 4) (#114)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:18:39 PM EST

You think that you can just allow Islam to come into a liberal society like the US and then deal with it brutally? You're in for a big surprise. Already, if I were to become a Muslim, I would have more freedom to choose my lifestyle, by emigrating to one of many Mulsim nations and/or choosing one of many imams, than I do under the de facto theocracy that the US has become.

The laboratory of the states is an institutionalization of the principles of the enlightenment -- scientific principles of comparitive variation. If those principles are prohibited because variation in belief about the relationship between genes and social order is effectively disallowed then you are simply dealing with one theocracy vs another. I really don't think the West's liberals can beat Islam as a theocracy. The Muslims have it down cold.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

I'll give you credit... (3.00 / 5) (#116)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 07:34:30 PM EST

...for having a substantially better understanding of American history than the average American, but your construal of liberalism is fundamentally incorrect. Big "L" Liberalism--the enlightenment tradition--is inherently imperialist insofar as the values it endorses are held to apply universally and cross culturally. J. S. Mill, Rousseau, Voltaire, and the whole crew leading up to Kant contrasted culture with reason, and found that it was culture that came up wanting (I should note that I'm not personally a liberal).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
The key word is "comparative" (1.66 / 3) (#120)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:36:32 PM EST

In academia, a department of comparative religion is quite different from a seminary. One is elightenment tradition and the other is medieval culture. Hence, when I talk of comparative variation I can't be talking about "culture" in the sense criticized by Kant et al. Islam has much variation and that is one of its main strengths if not is main strength. However, it does not, to the best of my knowledge, systematize or codify that variation so as to render it subject to rational analysis. Nor does it allow essentially unlimited variation consistent with experimental separation, as would be the case with an enlightenment approach.

Your equating the notion of universal principles with "imperialism" is just silly. I can hold the belief that the speed of light is a universal constant without imposing that belief on other cultures.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

But you can't hold the view... (3.00 / 5) (#123)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:57:33 PM EST

...that democratic sufferage is universal human right without also judging those cultures who do not recognize such a right as inferior and deficient.

That physical laws are universally applicable in a uniform universe isn't an enlightenment value. The enlightenment, for better or worse, attempted to construct social or human truths explicitly modeled after the physical truths of science. The idea that naked reason, freed of cultural deitrus, can arrive at universally applicable moral truths is generally the very essence of what gets regarded as the enlightment.

As for the rest of your comment, I believe we're talking somewhat at cross purposes as I'm having a hard time understanding its relation to what I thought the conversation was about.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Voting with one's feet (2.40 / 5) (#125)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:41:12 PM EST

that democratic sufferage is universal human right without also judging those cultures who do not recognize such a right as inferior and deficient.

Well, I refer you to my original statement about the superiority of migration to democracy in dispute processing. Universal suffrage in the sense of universally enforcing the right to voting with one's feet is all an enlightened view demands. So yes, enlightenment, in the sense I have discussed it, is "imperialist" in its denial of the right of one human or group of humans to enslave another.

Moreover, rational treatement of human development dictates that, even here, variation be allowed up to some limit. The reasonable upper limit for "the age of majority", to use a term related to "suffrage", is most likely the age at which additional neural growth has peaked. Up until that time education in the propositions being tested may be essential.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Interstate Commerce Clause (2.00 / 2) (#110)
by Baldrson on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 05:41:57 PM EST

the degree of economic interdependence they evisioned

I'm certain that if the founders saw the degree of over-interpretation of the interstate commerce clause and its consequences to federalism they would have stricken it entirely from the Constitution.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

do you want to empty all cities? (1.33 / 6) (#117)
by Liberal Conservative on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:05:34 PM EST

it makes very little sense to me

perhaps someone can clear things up here

i'd like to understand your points

but i can't

miserable failure

signed,
   liberal conservative

+1FP, Baldrson (1.83 / 6) (#122)
by FreeBSD on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:36:10 PM EST

I love you man.

Good point (2.53 / 15) (#124)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 10:39:25 PM EST

We should have let the South secede.  That was the wrong war at the wrong time.

It is the urban areas that are economically productive.  The rural areas that vote Republican are actually the recipents of the welfare of urban areas.  And then they vote assholes into office and blame black people for their problems.

We should have let them secede.  There economy would have stagnated and their slaves would have eventually rose up and killed them.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

I'm saying something slightly different (2.75 / 4) (#144)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:07:04 AM EST

I'm saying that "the war for abolition" (which is what the US government started calling about midway through when they realized they were up against a harder conflict than they had expected) was just and pragmatic, due to the fact that slaves were being denied their right to secede.

The disasterous mistake the US government made, from the stadpoint of freedom, was in phrasing the war in any terms but as a war for the right to secede -- the right of self-determination.

In that sense I'm an "imperialist" but ironically only for the right to secede or the right of self-determiantion.

I think if the US had phrased the goal of the war in those terms, it would have broken the morale of of the Confederacy before a shot was fired.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Okay (none / 1) (#166)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:46:49 PM EST

Maybe we should have kicked the shit out of the south, free the slaves, and have them secede anyway.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
are you being sarcastic? (none / 1) (#161)
by auraslip on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:41:29 PM EST


124
[ Parent ]
No, not really nt (none / 0) (#165)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:44:42 PM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Safety valve (2.62 / 8) (#128)
by curien on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:45:04 AM EST

We haven't really needed to exercise eminent domain in this manner before because the Experiment has always had a safety valve -- that is, idealists and malcontents could always move West. We no longer have this valve, and it shows. In the old days, if people didn't like the way the government worked (for whatever reason), they'd move to an unsettled area and make their own microcosmic experiment, which would either fail or eventually be absorbed back into the American Experiment. This option is no longer available, and it's a Bad Thing.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
That is a good reason (none / 1) (#148)
by Imma Troll on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:48:15 AM EST

to revive the space program. If you don't like the country, you can take a rocket to the moon!
Will somebody light my sig?
[ Parent ]
An important point worthy of its own essay. (1.00 / 3) (#151)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:35:25 PM EST

I perhaps bent over backwards to avoid my own hobby horses here, the main ones being Jewish ethnic interests, ethnic prisoner gang rape and frontier expansion, but it does bear pointing out that there is a serious connection between all of these to the decentralization of power, and the most important of these is frontier expansion as it pertains to ethnic conflict.

The reason people are so terrified of allowing ethnostates -- or of allowing any real diversity at all -- is because they think diversity (despite what they say to the contrary) -- that is real diversity where differences are viable as opposed to merely tolerated -- is dangerous.

Some nationalists (most prominently Bob Whitaker) believe that the only environments within which real freedom of thought, freedom of speech and real diversity of lifestyle, can occur is within nations. Their rational for this is that only within nations is there the bonds of blood can uphold civility under the stress of real differences of opinion.

There is a sense -- an important sense -- in which they are right.

But what they miss is the relativistic aspect of Hamilton's kin altruism equations.

Illustrating:

A nephew is related to his uncle with a Hamiltonian relatedness measure of 1/4 but that is calculated only within the context of the rest of the population. Likewise, a person of a given race is related, similarly, by a measure of about 1/4 to another random person of the same geographic race (Asian, African, European, etc.) but again that is within the context of the global population.

This is a very confusing concept for people but if one can get past the confusion, one can see how ideas like Whitaker's might apply to multi-racial civilities when taken as against the rest of the biosphere.

Now, here's the rub: Humanity has shown itself quite capable of "imperialistically dominating" the ecology of the planet. It has done so primarily through the use of technology -- a rather characteristic phenotype of humans. However, the key thing about technology is not that it is capable of enabling humans to dominate other species -- it is that technology is a way of living systems to alter environments in general.

As I've said before, I'm more closely related to a fungus than I am to a patch of ocean desert and even more related to that patch of ocean desert than I am to an asteroid.

If we have a frontier that involves, first, ocean deserts and secondly space resources -- the tendency to view ourselves as kin -- regardless of ethnicity or any other criteria such as religion -- will dramatically amplify our ability to tolerate our different experiments with living. What I mean here is that sociobiology's well-validated models of bilogical altruism shows kin altruism of, say "1/4" is just as applicable to relationships between to

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Book: Bringing Life to the Stars (none / 1) (#152)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:20:10 PM EST

The book that first brought up "circles of altruism" with respect to space migration (as far as I am aware) was "Bringing Life to the Stars" by David Deumler.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

for me (2.42 / 7) (#134)
by the sixth replicant on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:00:45 AM EST

it's normal cultural evolution esp for a liberal country like the US (liberal meaning liberties based - gee i wonder if that's what liberal really means?)

America started off as a clean slate for a lot of people (and not so for some) and then as the cream raised to the top the cream wanted to keep their power and money and so invented mechanisms to make sure that the power and money wasn't distributed (as a dynamic economy would - see Wealth Condensation in a simple model of the economy[pdf]). We see this all around the world but very efficiently in America

Now add to this a country that started off as a "celebrate whatever you like - we don't care" to a "there is only one way of defining morality" and get those people in bed with the above power/money keepers and you now have the USA (or at least the beginnings of it).

America is just becoming a fundamentalist country. The very laws that allowed freedom of religion has created a monster. (And that monster doesn't like that law anymore btw.)

Is there a solution to this: No, not really. (Well you can start taxing religions that might make them humble.). And I don't really think its my business to say people are "wrong" for wanting this. Life's an experiment - if we nuke ourselves because of it then so be it. Better to do it on this pale blue dot then take lots of other civilisations with us (yes too much Asimov :).[I don't fully agree with the above statement 100% btw]

For me the States is at a crossroads. We have a new enemy (from my point of view) on the sights and it might just go away or it might take over everything. Who knows it'll be an interesting 10-20 years.

My advice is to either fight it or let the people who like this fundamentalism to keep it and everyone can leave (taking with you the keys to the nukes, please). If it collapses then the world is better for it, but it can only be destroyed from within not from the outside: this just creates an enemy that inflates their strength.

Ciao

Two gross exagerations (2.33 / 3) (#138)
by minerboy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:04:37 AM EST

first - "America is just becoming a fundamentalist country. The very laws that allowed freedom of religion has created a monster." - THis is just not the case, the fact that several million fundamentalist swung a close election to the conservative, because they don't favor Gay Marriage is far from banning other religions as is done in a fundamentalist state. In fact, France has recently limited religious expression. The US is actually more tolerant of odd ball religions than certain european countries

Second, - "wanted to keep their power and money and so invented mechanisms to make sure that the power and money wasn't distributed" In fact, the US has a very dynamic economy, if you look at people changing classes. European economies do have a little more distribution of wealth, but less mobility between socio-economic classes. Americans (generally) don't care about wealth distribution, they are more interested in oppurtunity distribution, which is a very different thing.



[ Parent ]
If this was true... (2.33 / 3) (#150)
by Ogygus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:35:06 PM EST

Americans (generally) don't care about wealth distribution, they are more interested in opportunity distribution, which is a very different thing.

If the objective was to truly provide the same opportunity to all citizens, each citizen at age 18 should receive an arbitrary sum, lets say $250,000 to spend on whatever they will. Some would pay for higher education. Some would start a small business. Some would buy cocaine and women until the money ran out. All would have equal opportunity to succeed. Of course we would need a mechanism to pay for such largess. How about a 100% death tax. When you die all of your wealth and assets go to fund the next generation. Those who wish to not participate can vote with their feet and move to some place where "equal opportunity" does not exist, leaving all of their assets behind. Such a society would provide only one avenue for those who choose not to succeed. Exile. No welfare, no government aid programs, simply exile.

Ridiculous idea you say?? I agree. But so is the notion that Americans care more about "opportunity distribution" than they do about "wealth distribution".

In fact, the US has a very dynamic economy, if you look at people changing classes.

I would have to agree with you here. Unfortunately, that mobility seems to be mainly in the wrong direction.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
well (2.00 / 2) (#154)
by minerboy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:58:20 PM EST

Your first argument is absurd, furthermore, I didn't say the US had acheived equal oppurtunity, I said thay care more about that than wealth distribution. Your second point, is misinformed - see here.



[ Parent ]
Actually it is ridiculous. (2.00 / 2) (#155)
by Ogygus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:48:33 PM EST

As stated in the argument. But to state that Americans actually give a moments thought to "opportunity distribution" is also absurd and ridiculous. All Americans really care about is getting "theirs". It is a society based on envy and greed. Those who have see nothing wrong with this. Those who don't have, do.

As for misinformation? I never disputed that there are people joining the ranks of the wealthy. The point was that the middle class is shrinking and it is not because of the numbers moving into the upper class. If you can find a variety of sources (other than a list of right-wing think tanks) that support your contention that the vast majority of Americans are moving up in class I look forward to seeing them.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
no, Americans do care (2.00 / 2) (#164)
by Polverone on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:43:16 PM EST

...to state that Americans actually give a moments thought to "opportunity distribution" is also absurd and ridiculous. All Americans really care about is getting "theirs". It is a society based on envy and greed. Those who have see nothing wrong with this. Those who don't have, do.

Greater education correlates fairly well with greater wealth and with more "progressive" social views, including concerns about distribution of wealth and opportunity. Many people, educated and otherwise, spend time and resources to help others simply because they believe it is good. According to the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, in 2000 70% of Americans donated money to a religious charity, and 64% donated to a non-religious charity. Majorities also volunteered time for school or youth organizations and helping the poor or elderly. Do you personally know any Americans? Would you characterize them as caring about nothing but getting "theirs," envious, and greedy?

I would say that Americans don't care about equality of opportunity, but they do care about setting a floor on opportunities. If John has to be educated by unqualified teachers in a leaky building using ancient textbooks, that's an injustice. If Jack can afford to go to an elite private academy where he has every resource imaginable, that's not an injustice regardless of anybody else's situation (unless he arrived at his position by unjust means). Changing Jack's situation may require changing John's situation (progressive taxation), but Americans care far more about elevating the lowest than bringing down the highest. The first is a worthy goal, while the second is mostly a side effect. That is at least my impression. If I lived among poor bohemians or rich investors I might have a different view of things.

I recognize that it's good for societies to have fairly equitable wealth distribution, with few very-rich or very-poor and a large middle class. The problem is that I cannot see a practically and intellectually satisfying way of addressing the problem. Steep progressive taxation is a practical solution, but it's intellectually unsatisfying. However little right Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison might have to their vast wealth, I'm pretty sure that I have even less right to it. Diminishing the influence of money in politics, and forcing the wealthy to approach their government on the same level as anyone else, is an intellectually satisfying but highly unlikely-to-succeed approach. Also, that would be at most a long-term solution, and would mostly curb private wealth acquired by manipulating public institutions. One problem beyond taxation and influence-buying is simply that machines and people living in other parts of the world can now perform many jobs cheaper or better than middle class Americans.

I can see the outcomes that I want, but not the means to achieve them.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Initial Conditions (none / 1) (#251)
by czolgosz on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 12:17:55 PM EST

Of course we would need a mechanism to pay for such largess. How about a 100% death tax. When you die all of your wealth and assets go to fund the next generation.


I completely agree. Here's the way I think of it. If you really believe in an open, competitive economy, then you want a set of rules that reward the talented and ambitious more than the well-connected. No silver spoons.

The only way that such a race can be fair is if the competitors start at the same point, just as, in an experiment, results are not comparable unless you properly control the initial conditions.

The current system favors those who inherit wealth. Although economic mobility is higher in the US than in some other countries, it is still the case that the strongest predictor of an individual's wealth is the wealth of the individual's parents. As long as this is true, we will continue to live in a society where the prevalent upper-class values are nepotism and the nearly-inevitable rentier complacency of those who are parasitic on Daddy's money.

Conservatives, especially wealthy ones, seem fond of the "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" fallacy: "I'm wealthy, therefore it must be because I am talented, since we live in a competitive society." My reply is "The fact that you are wealthy and so evidently not talented is evidence that this is not a competitive society."

Anyway, it's not a "death tax." It's a free-rider-prevention tax.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
hmmm (2.80 / 5) (#136)
by gdanjo on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:46:30 AM EST

Demography is destiny.
Tell that to the American Indians, or the Australian Aborigines.

There must be a libertarian State [...]

There must be a fundamentalist Christian state [...]

There must be ethnostates [...]

Didn't we already have this "experiment"? Differences based on geography only emboldens people to think as their geography/locality dictates. Whatever the faults of democracy and multicultural society, it's the best we have so far ... I don't see how going backwards towards a time of spacial differences is going to help, especially in a world where spacial differences are being diminished.

Can you pursue happiness without, like Christian or Islamic theocrats, imposing your value system on others?
Possibly not, but what about the value system that, by it's very inclusionary nature, blunts the worst elements of each "individual" value system, while still allows such differentiation and identity to exist? I see this as a victory of multiculturalism.

I'm also a little confused about what you're after here - are you saying that we should enforce your ideas, or are you saying that we will naturally tend towards your vision? If it's the former, it will fail. Period. If it's the later, then I don't see what you'll gain by telling us.

It's kinda like if I were to declare "all weak people are doomed due to the theory of evolution." I thought the point of humanity was to overcome our given limitation, not to give in to them.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

Ethnostates (1.00 / 2) (#147)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:39:36 AM EST

There must be ethnostates [...]

Didn't we already have this "experiment"?

Not in the context of nuclear armaments.

See The Ethnostate by Wilmot Robertson for a strategic assessment of the consequences of widely distributed weaposn of mass destruction -- a condition that given current technical trends seems not only inevitable but perhaps present.

The proof that the critical variable is not ethnicity in aggressive imperialism is found in the behavior of the US toward countries that are less powerful.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

emotive efficiency (none / 1) (#185)
by gdanjo on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:39:50 PM EST

There must be ethnostates [...]

Didn't we already have this "experiment"?

Not in the context of nuclear armaments.

Well, in the spirit of re-evaluating past strategies in a "now-context", why don't we have another go at slavery in the context of ultra-cheap labour available in China and India?

I wonder - at what point do we brand out past strategies as not-worthy-of-consideration? Perhaps never; perhaps we must always re-evaluate our current situation with respect to strategies of the past, in our everlasting search for better and greater economies - after all, the more happyness we create, the better it must be, no?

While such a strategy may lead to a most efficient use of "strategies", I can't help but feel repulsed by this very thought. I take comfort in rejecting anything that resembles "nazi" strategies, for example, whether or not such a strategy may prove to be an evolutionary success. I can't help but feel that ultimate efficiency is a falacy in itself, and that we are clever enough to come up with new ways of dealing with eternal problems, without resorting to copy-cat techniques.

You might call this "emotive efficiency" - where we contort our intellectual redress to keep emotive purity, if only to afford it usefulness as a commodity. Else, we may as well get rid of all emotion completely.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#205)
by speek on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 12:41:51 PM EST

The point was that when communities had the power to determine their own constituency, they were typically more internally peaceful and successful. They also happened to dislike those different from them and sometimes get all uppity and go to war against their different neighbors. In a world of nuclear weapons, hating to that extent becomes self-defeating. Furthermore, in a world of TV and internets, becoming so isolated is a difficult thing, and one would have a hard time making the argument that self-governing communities means rampant growth in xenophobia.

I don't think the Amish are evil because they don't want me there with them.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

erm (none / 0) (#227)
by gdanjo on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 05:56:25 AM EST

The point was that when communities had the power to determine their own constituency, they were typically more internally peaceful and successful. [...]
But such communities are also ripe for exploitation.

They also happened to dislike those different from them and sometimes get all uppity and go to war against their different neighbors. [...]
Due to external attempts at exploitation, or the acquisition of opportunity to explpoit others.

In a world of nuclear weapons, hating to that extent becomes self-defeating. [...]
Annihalation of your enemy is also self-defeating, since you miss out on exploitation opportunities. In today's world, there are far more lucrative resources than just nature's gifts. I don't see how nuclear weapons changes the balance.

Furthermore, in a world of TV and internets, becoming so isolated is a difficult thing, and one would have a hard time making the argument that self-governing communities means rampant growth in xenophobia.
Which was my point originally - what advantage does spacial locality give you when, in an interconnected world, you cannot live as though your locality is your own? In other words, in todays interconnected world, you might find it difficult to create your own laws that are incompatible with those of other lands - so why bother?

I don't think the Amish are evil because they don't want me there with them.
And herein you prove my point - if you want to live in a homogenous "world" with your like-minded brethren, what the fuck is stopping you? The Amish have done it for a long time, and no Amish has yet been forced to leave (with or without compensation).

To have diversity, as Baldrson wants, why can't we just follow the Amish model? What benefit would we get by exporting the Amish to Amishville?

The negatives, however, are obvious.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

I didn't follow (none / 0) (#228)
by speek on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 09:17:08 AM EST

Why are they ripe for exploitation?

The advantages of spacial locality are obvious to anyone who doesn't spend 10 hours a day on K5, and even to most of us who do.

The Amish are an extreme example that can't be often replicated before powers that be would interfere. They already do interfere for Christian Scientists, for example, threatening to take away their children. The option of homeschooling is hanging by a thread in many places. A "blue state" agenda has prevented many states from banning abortion, even though the people of those states overwhelmingly would choose to do so. What community of people can up and decide to be a pot-smoking community? Sure, the Indians can probably get away with it, but the existence of entrenched communities does not prove the point that anyone can start living by their own internal rules at any time.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

hurmphf (none / 0) (#238)
by gdanjo on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 07:30:44 PM EST

Why are they ripe for exploitation?
Because history has said so. Name me one successful society that has not succumbed cultural integration.

The advantages of spacial locality are obvious to anyone who doesn't spend 10 hours a day on K5, and even to most of us who do.
Of course: you can make you own damn rules, just like Pitcairn. The question is, if you are denied the ability to create any rules you wish (as Pitcairn is now experiencing), what advantage do you have over and above mere "I want to be close to XYZ" (which you can do now)?

The Amish are an extreme example that can't be often replicated before powers that be would interfere. They already do interfere for Christian Scientists, for example, threatening to take away their children. [...]
And the Pitcairn islanders are denied the ability to rape their young. If you can give me a way of allowing autonomy, but disalowing exploitation due to this autonomy, then I'd like to hear it. Cultural relativism can only go so far; unless you believe in "human relativism" - that we are not all human in the same way.

The option of homeschooling is hanging by a thread in many places. A "blue state" agenda has prevented many states from banning abortion, even though the people of those states overwhelmingly would choose to do so. What community of people can up and decide to be a pot-smoking community? [...]
People smoke pot, even though it's illegal. Abortions occur even in places where it is illegal. Home schooling occurs, even though it's discouraged.

What are you after here? If you want to do these things, then do them - why do you need societal approval? You're falling into the right-wing power-play trap, where you want society to reflect your tastes. Well, sorry, it doens't happen that way. If you want to be a druggo, you'll have to do it in a non-open way; if you want to be a paedophile, you'll have hide from the people who don't want it, whether you're autonomous or not.

Do you really think the world would stand by and allow Peado-land to flourish because we want to keep autonomy sacred? Should we?

Again, cultural relativism must have it's limits, and once you define any limits, you may as well not have autonomy - your efforts are better spent in getting other people to understand than in beating them over the head with your moral relativism.

Sure, the Indians can probably get away with it, but the existence of entrenched communities does not prove the point that anyone can start living by their own internal rules at any time.
Tell that to the Dodo bird. It, too, has a valid claim to make it's own rules for living - that it should be able to be as stupid as it wishes, without fear of being clubbed upside the head. Similarly, we should discourage people from creating their own autonomous communities for the same reason: that they'd be too tempting a target for (metaphorical) clubbing.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Ridiculous (none / 0) (#250)
by speek on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 11:50:40 AM EST

Because history has said so. Name me one successful society that has not succumbed cultural integration

How about all of them? Seriously, if you were right, there'd be one global mono-culture, no?

Again, cultural relativism must have it's limits, and once you define any limits, you may as well not have autonomy

All or nothing arguments are as useless as slipperly slope arguments (Actually, they are the same). If we disallow murder, we might as well be strapped to chairs and forcefed gruel our whole lifes.

What are you after here? If you want to do these things, then do them - why do you need societal approval?

I'm after a world where communities can make their own rules - I thought I'd made that clear. If the community I lived in decided to require my child go to their schools, I'd leave to find one that didn't do that. According to you, however, I am equatable with a paedophile, and I should raise my child in secret.

Oh wait, I just noticed I'm arguing with gdanjo. nm.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

troll (none / 0) (#255)
by gdanjo on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 05:16:13 PM EST

How about all of them? Seriously, if you were right, there'd be one global mono-culture, no?
What I meant, and what you know I meant, was a culture that has been unchanged by other cultures. In this sense, we do all belong to a mono-culture - the world culture - it's just not the same as any of it's parts.

All or nothing arguments are as useless as slipperly slope arguments (Actually, they are the same). If we disallow murder, we might as well be strapped to chairs and forcefed gruel our whole lifes.
Your meta-argumentative style is really getting boring. Those who can, argue; those who can't, meta-argue!!1!

(And before you get your nickers in a knot, I do recognise the irony - oh, the irony!!1!).

I'm after a world where communities can make their own rules - I thought I'd made that clear. [...]
As usual, you're clear as mud. "[M]ake their own rules" can mean anything. Given X then Y; X, therefore why? Didn't you know this?

Also, 1 + 1 = 2, 0x = 0, and 12 of something makes a dozen of the other, if you havn't noticed. Perhaps you should learn this before we continue any further.

According to you, however, I am equatable with a paedophile, and I should raise my child in secret.
Indeed.

All or nothing arguments are as useless as slipperly slope arguments (Actually, they are the same).
Troll.

Oh wait, I just noticed I'm arguing with gdanjo. nm.
You're doing no such thing; you're trolling gdanjo, and you love it.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

The central problem that I see in my mind... (2.60 / 5) (#139)
by skyknight on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:24:00 AM EST

is that of how to go about enforcing a constitution that limits the powers of a centralized government. It's not a problem unique to the US government, but one shared by all governments.

Initially when governments are formed among entities, I suspect it is often the case that most parties agree to strong limitations on the powers of the central government. This reflects the fears of each entity that someone else might grab the reins, and the corresponding desire to hold that entity in check.

Once some entity actually gets into power, though, it is often exceedingly difficult to get them to abide by the statutes laid out in the constitution. The natural tendency for the power holder is to set about consolidating that power, and expanding the powers of office. They do so thinking that they will hold onto the power indefinitely. This is dangerous, and as you have eloquently articulated has been the route of liberals in America that has come to blow up in their faces.

The problem results from having the fox guarding the hen house. The fox often has the legal authority to modify the constitution, and even if the legalese technically bars the fox from doing so, he has all the guns, and so who is to stop him? History has shown us the dissolution of assorted parliaments that were supposed to exist as an intrinsic component of government, but had the staying power of a lump of sugar in a glass of hot water.

Probably the only way for equilibrium to be kept is for citizens to be conscious of the maintenance of a balance of powers, i.e. having powers exist that keep the central government in check. Alas, such a thing has largely ceased to exist in America, hence our present course.

People are too prone to a line of thinking that hands decision making up to the highest level. Really, we ought to push all decision making down the tree to the most local level as reasonably possible. The US federal government ought to be involved with national defense, national level policing, national level courts, and perhaps monetary policy so as to facilitate (not control) commerce. Everything else should be kicked down to the state level, and states should push down as much as they can to the local level.

The higher the level of government that is assigned to dealing with some task, the more clumsily the task will be done, and the more apt we are to end up with One Size Fits No One (or perhaps one size that fits only the tyrannical democratic majority) solutions. It is for this reason that a given operation should be performed at a certain level if and only there exists an extremely high value for it being coordinated in some way that is not possible at a lower level.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
The right to secede is the key. (2.33 / 3) (#146)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:26:20 AM EST

Any government that does not recognize the right to secede -- the right to self-determination -- the right to "vote with your feet" -- is illegitimate as it supports de facto slavery.

The civil war proved that the right to secede is founded on the individual's right to vote with their feet, but it applies also to territories or enclaves. The only restriction on this is the need to have some sort of compensation for the displacement of enclaves through eminent domain and, by analogy, compensation for individuals who must give up their citizenship, which itself does have value. The compensation for loss of citizenship should probably be set by some sort of market mechanism, just as it is for real estate condemnation during eminent domain compensation.

This applies even to people facing prison. If they want to renounce their citizenship and can find some place that will accept them, even if as a prisoner within their penal system, they should be freed to go there. Compensation for loss of citizenship might be lower for such expatriation.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

But how could that be brought about... (3.00 / 2) (#173)
by skyknight on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:11:27 PM EST

given our current situation? Yes, it is de facto slavery to assert that one cannot leave a union. However, what is to stop the tyrannical majority from asserting that they have a right to hold onto you? I think it was quite reasonable of Horace Greeley to say to the southern states "Wayward sisters, depart in peace", yet he was clearly in the minority.

As our own Declaration of Independence states, "mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed". It takes a hell of a lot for a secession to occur, and things aren't yet nearly bad enough. The conditions of living are still too comfortable over all for most people to consider alternatives.

Also, as much as I may agree in principle with the fundamental importance of self-determination, there are also some troublesome practicality issues. What would happen if Nebraska decided to secede? That is a very different scenario from Texas seceding. Whereas Texas could be released and left to fend for itself, ostensibly a liberated Nebraska wouldn't even need a military of its own as it would be totally landlocked by the US.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
A 3 Pronged Attack (none / 1) (#182)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:11:16 PM EST

  1. Conservatives have to be willing to not simply tolerate, but accept, if only as fool-hardy and self-destructive, things that they consider utter abominations, so long as their children and teenagers are not subjected to them in their states.
  2. Liberals have to be willing to not simply tolerate, but respect the desire of conservatives to have their space -- and cease being terrified of their "intolerance" which merely expresses itself in their desire not to have their children and teenagers subjecte to the liberal ideas during their formative years.
  3. Liberals and conservatives must remember that the opening of frontiers transforms "us vs them" to "all of us looking forward to there". This unifies differing peoples, giving their experiments real meaning as the future has unknown possibilities -- and may require surprising aspects of both new and old social forms.

A pretty good example of this last item happened when a bunch of grassroots activists formed a coalition between the chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus, Ron Dellums of Oakland, and a write-in Republican Congressman (and brother of the LDS temple president in San Diego) Ron Packard, to cosponsor a bill to commercialize launch services. The legislation passed with flying colors after having hung in political limbo for years. Understand I'm not necessarily advocating political action here -- expecially since although the legislation passed, the bureaucracies pretty much ignored it and the grassroots activists didn't have the resources to pursue litigation for malfeasance. What I am advocating is recognition that opening frontiers can bring out a cooperative spirit between people who might otherwise have great difficulty talking to each other civily.

There are lots of opportunities for such coalition building -- algae biodiesel/food production, ocean desert aquaculture and if political action is the best you can do -- converting the porkbarrel technology bureaucracies of government to use prize awards so results are achieved for public dollars spent.

A functioning coalition such as this could demand pretty much whatever it wanted from the central government, including secession rights.

All that's needed is some vision.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

3 prongs (none / 0) (#248)
by zenofchai on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 11:16:42 AM EST

1. Conservatives have to be willing to not simply tolerate, but accept, if only as fool-hardy and self-destructive, things that they consider utter abominations, so long as their children and teenagers are not subjected to them in their states.

I haven't seen any evidence that this can happen. Additionally, please define "subjected" as you mean it in this prong. (More on this below.)

2. Liberals have to be willing to not simply tolerate, but respect the desire of conservatives to have their space -- and cease being terrified of their "intolerance" which merely expresses itself in their desire not to have their children and teenagers subjecte to the liberal ideas during their formative years.

Again, please define "subjected" and perhaps give a few examples of the liberal ideas of which you speak. If you mean "gays on television" then change the channel. If you mean "swear words on the radio" then change the station. If you mean "teaching evolution as a possible science in public schools" then send your kids to a different school or teach them at home. If you mean "gay rapists coming to your house and indoctrinating your children" then by all means call the police, as this is already a crime.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

You can keep writing diatribes on Kuro5hin... (2.50 / 6) (#159)
by MSBob on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:23:09 PM EST

...or pursue happiness on your own by packing your stuff and moving to Canada for example. Canadians welcome all those who are liberal minded and do not mind living in a diverse society.

In fact, the course of events in the US right now, mimics what happened in my country in the mid 90s. After being pushed to the fringe I realized that it is futile to attempt to change a theocratic society in a single lifetime and moved to a place where my views were accepted by the mainstream.

You see, I'm an ardent atheist who was born and raised in an ultra-Catholic country. Living amongst people blinded by their dogma was both frustrating and discouraging. My viewpoint was condemned openly by friends, family and strangers alike.

Soon, politics followed the societal trends: abortion was banned, homophobia was rampant and the Church got huge tax breaks and was able to pursue a number of dubious land claims. In the end it came down to sticking it out with the other 10% of open-minded, progressive people who saw the tragedy looming or cutting my losses and trying to build a new life in a place that is less extremist in its worldview and its politics. In the end, after careful deliberation I decided to move to Canada.

I recommend that every one of you give emigration a serious pondering as it is very unlikely that the sectarian half of the American society is going to embrace your differing points of view.

Given that the "freedom"... (3.00 / 5) (#160)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:36:15 PM EST

...Baldrson is looking for includes the right to appropriate the power of the state to enforce the racial homogenity an ethno-mini-state, I strongly suspect you Canucks would prefer he stayed on this side of the border. After all, you don't even tolerate that kind of behavior among your Frenchies.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
True enough (2.50 / 2) (#162)
by MSBob on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:47:00 PM EST

But my point is a bit more general. leaving your country is also "voting with your fee" in a very literal sense. There is little hope for spurring a sweeping change in a highly indoctrinated society.

He can move to a place where his views are commonly shared. Those leaning left and secular as opposed to secular and libertarian may find Canada a very attractive proposition.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Come on, don't leave me in suspense. (none / 0) (#234)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 05:53:42 PM EST

Which country had this Catholic revolution?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Asymmetric (1.75 / 8) (#167)
by redelm on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:16:20 PM EST

There are Bush-haters. Yes.

Yet he doesn't return the hatred, nor AFAIK do his supporters. Unpleasant policies are not hatred.



11 States banned gay marriage (2.50 / 4) (#172)
by PhoTwenny on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:08:41 PM EST

If that's not hatred, I don't know what is.


[ Parent ]
I don't think it is hatred at the root. (none / 1) (#176)
by fyngyrz on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:45:10 PM EST

It is fear, ignorance and stupidity. Hatred is just a side effect, the emotion that rises to the top when you push people's fear and lack of comprehension back in their faces.

If you take the POV that this is based upon stupidity, then you soon come to the conclusion that there is no solution anywhere on the horizon (barring forced genetic tweaking... IE, people can't have a stupid child... and even that would take several generations to fix the problem as the stupid ones would take some time to die off.)

You'll spend less time fretting about it and more time advancing your cause on other fronts once you realize that gays have no more chance at acceptance by the general US public than there is a chance that religion will be abandoned by the general US public. And for the same reason. They're simply too stupid to defeat their own ignorance, and too fearful of the unknown to accept something they don't feel agreement with intuitively.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

I disagree... (none / 1) (#225)
by PhoTwenny on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:38:34 PM EST

I figure that the general US public eventually accepted women and blacks as citizens, so accepting gays is inevitable.  Short of a premature end of civilization, it will eventually happen.

Its the same ignorance-based intolerance.  Though since "gayness" is not quite as tangible as not-having-a-penis or skin color, it makes it even more difficult for the ignorant to wrap their little heads around it.  I believe they eventually will, at least as reluctantly as the acceptances of women and blacks.

But ignorance, at least in this case, works both way.  I absolutely do not understand how gay marriage can possibly have any ill effects towards anyone.  If 2 people of the same sex marry it has no more impact on anyone else in the world than if the couple had been man and woman.  I cannot comprehend the kind of intolerance that would ban something with no negative effects, just because...

Shit.  I don't even know how to finish that sentence.  Its so hard to convince people who just won't listen.

[ Parent ]

Well, I hope you're right. (none / 0) (#226)
by fyngyrz on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 10:21:16 PM EST

My gut tells me otherwise, though. :(

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

forced acceptence (none / 0) (#229)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 11:46:17 AM EST

I think what you miss here: Affirmative action wasn't something that developed as a "consensus" over time. It was a policy enacted by a scant, transitory majority that has since evaporated. That is why we are seeing such a strong reaction now. Now, I would tend to agree that a increasingly civilized(i.e. citified) society will tend towards increasing prevalence of homosexuality over time. However, that tendency will also involve various demographic--and cultural-- shifts. The fundies think they can postpone those shifts by that "old time religion". Baldrson thinks the only way to change that is real opening of frontiers. I don't think the fundies will accept opening of frontiers because they will find themselves in the same position of old world theocrats when frontiers emerge.

[ Parent ]
I didn't say anything about AA (none / 0) (#230)
by PhoTwenny on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 04:34:42 PM EST

Affirmative Action arguably goes beyond mere acceptance, which is part of why it has so many critics.  I don't want to get in an argument over its merits and shortcomings, but its very easy to see how those who disagree with it can view it as reverse discrimination.

I see a huge difference between a company not hiring someone because of bigotry, and the country passing laws against a specific segment of our population doing an otherwise legal activity.

The law corrected itself on women and racism, even if many of the people didn't change.  Unfortunately these laws enumerated specific kinds of differences between people, which doesn't scale well, and left room for future discriminatory distinctions that are still "allowed", sexual preference being the most popular now.

It no longer the case that only the homophobes are persecuting the gays, the law is.  In 11 states (mine being one of them), being gay is now illegal in an activity that is otherwise open to everyone.

There's a difference between being a bigot and legislating bigotry.  The latter doesn't leave room for the dissenting view. Before affirmative action, black people could still get jobs.  They couldn't get jobs where the employer was racist (and yes, racism was widespread), but it wasn't ILLEGAL for them to get jobs or to be hired.  I'm not saying there wasn't still a problem, but those employers who did not share that bigotry had a much larger pool of applicants to choose from.

I think what I really missed is that this is the first time in quite a while that bigotry has been strong enough to pass laws.  Its the first time in a long time (as far as i know) that laws have been enacted specifically to discriminate against a group of people.  We taking huge strides backwards.

I mean, I can follow the arguments of a racist who thinks that affirmative action allows intelligent, skilled black people to "steal jobs" from more-qualified white people (a common argument to AA).  I don't agree with it, but I can follow the argument, and even refute it with logically.

I don't comprehend the logic in any of the arguments against gay marriages, because they aren't logical.  How does two gays getting married affect the bond between me and my wife?  Pretty much the same way as two other straight people getting married affects us;  it doesn't.

My marriage (like many) isn't based on religion, so not-banning gay marriage doesn't automatically "compromise" any religious beliefs, or even require that religions perform gay marriages.  And even if gay marriages were allowed, it doesn't require that you have to marry a gay person, so straight men and women would still be free to marry the partner of their choice.

"Debates" over gay marriage boil down to playground-level "uh huh!  nuh uh!  uh huh!  nuh uh!  you're stupid!  no you're stupid!" arguments.  That sort of disagreement should not be settled, and arguably cannot be settled, by passing laws.

This is definitely a huge step backwards.  Like 150 years backwards.

[ Parent ]

Shorter response... (none / 1) (#232)
by PhoTwenny on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 05:11:17 PM EST

Racism was (perhaps still is) so rampant that even with equality on the books, there was still massively unequal treatment by society.  Eventually that led to Affirmative Action, for better or worse, but all races are equal in law.

As of now, gays no longer have equality under the law in 11 states.  Marriage is something that is officially, legally not allowed for gays because of a hurtful, personal agenda.  Those laws aren't solving a problem.  They do not benefit anyone.  They are purely discriminatory, and opened the door for more.


[ Parent ]

100,000 Iraqis felt the hatred (1.50 / 4) (#177)
by nictamer on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:51:52 PM EST

100,000 dead iraqis according to a survey published last week in The Lancet.

And not one WMDs.

If that's not hatred, it's just downright psychopathology. I fail to see how it's any better.
--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]

Selective Reading? (none / 1) (#212)
by daigu on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 02:05:46 PM EST

Bush supporters aren't full of hatred?

Perhaps you should try reading some of the posts on this site.



[ Parent ]
Extemeists are a liability (1.80 / 5) (#168)
by redelm on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:25:25 PM EST

Extreemists are a liability to both major US political parties. The make more moderate members ashamed, and frighten members of the other party.

Kerry lost this election becausethe Democrat extremeists were far more in evidence. They frightened out the Republican vote, and frightened away moderate Democrats.



Um, no (2.75 / 4) (#178)
by melquiades on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:10:09 PM EST

Kerry lost this election becausethe Democrat extremeists were far more in evidence. They frightened out the Republican vote, and frightened away moderate Democrats.

Do you have any evidence for this, other than your own impressions? You can always find somebody who's scared of the other party, but do we have any real demographics to back up that assertion?

I'd say that Bush won because (1) he ran a much smarter campaign, and (2) he got the extremist elements of his party -- especially the Christian fundamentalists -- to the polls in record numbers. Most analyses I've read agree with this, and it's evidenced in the massive phone campaign the Republicans ran with fundamentalists, and the resulting turnout among self-described "evangelicals".

[ Parent ]

Kerry scared evangelicals into voting (none / 0) (#200)
by redelm on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:45:15 AM EST

Do you think Bush could have got the far right Republicans out to vote? They see his policies as too centrist. It was Kerry & especially Edwards that scared them into voting.



[ Parent ]

Hardly. (none / 1) (#231)
by Shajenko on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 04:42:52 PM EST

Kerry was against gay marriage, but the far-right fundies didn't believe that. They thought that the dems were gonna force gay marriage on everybody and that gay people would invade their homes if they didn't oppress them first.

Same with abortion: Bush said he did not favor overturning Roe v. Wade, but the Partial-Birth abortion got the evangelicals hopeful, even though the procedure is almost never done, barring the case when the mother's life is threatened. Bush was against it in all cases, and Kerry didn't want to ban it completely because it might be necessary to save the mother's life. This is basically equivalent to making killing in self-defense punishable as murder. But the evangelicals don't care.

On something of a tangent, these positions indicate to me that if the evangelicals had designed our judicial system, it would run on the principle, "Better to send 100 innocent men to jail than to let one guilty man go free", instead of the other way around.

[ Parent ]
Um, no... (none / 0) (#256)
by thanos on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 07:47:06 PM EST

(2) he got the extremist elements of his party -- especially the Christian fundamentalists -- to the polls in record numbers.

Actually melquiades, it seems as though you have gotten lost in the leftists' post-election echo chamber trying to explain away Bush's win. Unfortunately the data do not back up your assertions.

David Brooks, NY Times, November 6:

"As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life. Sixteen percent of voters said abortions should be illegal in all circumstances. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily."

Ignore the reality at your own electoral peril.


Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

As a brit (2.40 / 5) (#169)
by Paul Owen on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:28:07 PM EST

I'm kind of disgusted by how a domestic newspaper here deigned to try to influence Ohio voters - it's just a distasteful thing to try to do.

On the other hand, democracy is a bitter pill sometimes. I hated Bush and everything "Bible Baseball and Barbecue" he stood for, but you have to respect the democratic process in some ways, even if the basis for those votes was fear. If voters can't see they're being influenced by fear, they are maybe doomed to be trapped by it.

I'm personally hoping for a Reganite mellowing of the Bush theocracy. I have a feeling that he ensnared the Christian right for their votes only, and he will betray them because he realises that their vote is not compatible with the vast majority of US citizens.

I am British though, and I've never even been to America (well apart from Hawaii).

the experiment didn't fail, only a piece. (2.33 / 3) (#179)
by recharged95 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:54:11 PM EST

Don't be knocking the Baseball and Barbecue ;) They're both fun when you're involved. As a enterprise/corporation, that's the problem with the 2, of course if you're referring to that perspective...

Again, it's NOT the failure of the "american experiment". It's really a failure of the spoils system (which A. Jackson, a democrat brought into place). Since common sense says power corrupts--well that's what we got. And it's now fully ingrained in one of our basic freedoms--freedom of religion and right not to practice/acknowledge a religion. Religion is now exploited as a political tool as a result of the how Americans viewed religion over the years (you don't see the Vatican polarizing the world for political gain).

Get rid of the spoils system, then introduce some sort of merit system in it's place (like a cooperative, not a corporation) and I think things will settle down. Also, enforce separation of church and state--duh, that's no brainer, but then again, looks whose in power and look at the folks who voted them in...

[ Parent ]

What!? (none / 0) (#258)
by Sesquipundalian on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 10:04:05 AM EST

Yep you trolled me... whew, you really got me there!

you don't see the Vatican polarizing the world for political gain

Umm actually, all of the "gain" that has accrued to the Vatican, and in fact it's very existence is owed to this "polarizing" behavior that it illicits in each and every one of it's followers.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Why respect democracy? (none / 0) (#196)
by am3nhot3p on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:08:05 AM EST

It seems to me that democracy is the problem - or at least, universal suffrage is.  Sturgeon's Law tells us that "90% of everything is crud", and that applies equally to people.  Hence, democracy tends to favour the wrong candidates.

Even something as simple as a test for basic literacy and a grasp of politics would weed out many of the "crud" voters.  And I'm willing to bet that fewer of the remaining higher-quality, educated, intelligent voters would be voting for Bush.

[ Parent ]

a poor bet (none / 0) (#247)
by zenofchai on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 11:06:38 AM EST

Even something as simple as a test for basic literacy and a grasp of politics would weed out many of the "crud" voters.  And I'm willing to bet that fewer of the remaining higher-quality, educated, intelligent voters would be voting for Bush.

Most churches will sit you down and help you learn how to read. You see, there's this Book they really like. And a few sermons prior to election can help a large base of people "cram" for this "voter test".

I think you misunderestimate the millions of (many well-educated) people across the heartlands of America who go to church and think that homosexuality is a pervision which will lead the country into ruin, "Fall of the Roman Empire" or "Sodom and Gomorrah" style.

Even a "good" question on this "voter test" you propose, something like "should the government legislate most matters of personal religious beliefs?" which must be answered "no" for the person to be "allowed" to vote, would still be answered "no" by the person, even as they mark the ballot to ensure that gay marriages are banned.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

2 choices? (none / 0) (#257)
by dpi on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:46:24 PM EST

Kerry's viewpoints on homosexuality and abortion were quite clear. He had a personal one for him and his family but he did not believe it was right to force that belief upon others. Currently, when you vote in the USA, you pick a candidate and get all kind of free stuff with it. Free stuff you don't necessarily want. But its either A or B. Now people look weird this means there are 'people who vote against Bush' or 'people who vote against Kerry'. That's no surprise, the plurality system creates this dogma of only 2 choices.

There are these people who support only 1 or 2 causes of a party. There are those who don't vote based on ideology. Why not vote per law? It would solve the problem that you only have 2 (or 4, or 6) choices, replacing it with a <i>more</i> democratic system. Combine it with not too much power by the country so that states decide on laws and also to make it more scalable.

PS: slightly OT, but i gotta say it: those who think the USA is bad off due to the conservatives should learn more about conservatives in Europe and Asia. E.g. try to find similarities.

[ Parent ]

Obligatory invocation of Godwin's law... (3.00 / 3) (#199)
by skyknight on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:12:24 AM EST

But Hitler was elected by a democracy!

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Holy shit... (2.37 / 8) (#171)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:03:43 PM EST

You KNOW it's a fucked up world/country, when even Balderson comes off as a reasonable, almost moderate, guy; when compared to the administration in charge.

I wish I had seen this in the queue, so I could have voted +1 myself.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...

A place for Israel??? (1.20 / 5) (#183)
by crunchycookies on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:21:57 PM EST

Does that mean that there is a place for any kind of state? Should there be an Apartheid state? Should we have a KKK state? African Americans would be kept at the back of the bus. Lynching would be legal. A wonderful place, if you are white.

Should there be a Catholic state? Anyone who questions the Pope would be burned at the stake. What a holy and righteous place it would be. The Middle Ages all over again.

My answer is that there is no place in the world for racism, Apartheid, Fascism, Zionism or any other ideology of hate and oppression. Israel is just the current example of what those ideologies produce.



What's wrong with the back of the bus? (none / 1) (#184)
by eeg3 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:38:35 PM EST

When I was in school, most of the black kids sat in the back by choice anyway. Poor Rosa Parks did all that for nothing.

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]
Your reading comprehension is low here, kid. (none / 1) (#187)
by Baldrson on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:56:34 PM EST

How is permission for you to leave a territory and/or for you to expell someone who doesn't abide by your rules from your territory -- either way with eminent domain compensation for the departing party -- permission to burn the departing party at the stake? As for Israel, how does Sharon's government's withdrawl from the West Bank, even if to behind a defensive barrier, demonstrate an operational "ideology of hate and oppression"?

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Your essay really comes over like this .. (2.00 / 2) (#197)
by Highlander on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 06:34:40 AM EST

Your essay really comes over as ok'ing apartheid states.

However, I realize that your system of domain separation would also include the right to leave a domain, and the right of a domain to remain inviolated.

Still, both Israel and Palestina come over as not exactly sticking to these rights, since fractions of the populace would prefer to wipe the other domain off the map.

Also, your final lines about protecting the environment seems to require an intervention by a central authority.

Not to mention the problem to decide what constitutes a valid domain. Some guys claim on the moon? My apartment? Pitcairn islands? Staten island? Taiwan?

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Israeli/Palestinian Separation (2.50 / 2) (#208)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:41:58 PM EST

Still, both Israel and Palestina come over as not exactly sticking to these rights, since fractions of the populace would prefer to wipe the other domain off the map.

When Sharon's government is withdrawing from the occupied territories, in compliance with the Oslo Accord, and erecting a physical barrier to suicide bombers, I think it is safe to say there is some serious leadership that can temper the more extreme elements of both sides of the conflict. It is too much to ask the Palestinians to control their suicide bombers without some sort of Palestinian state so it you have to cut the Israelis some slack for wanting to erect a wall. Would you rather they go on bombing raids to prevent suicide bombers?

Face it, there is some very nasty history to be overcome here but the Israelis have made an extremely important step in the right direction.

It is up to the US to stop serving as a surrogate to Israel's interests in the middle east by minimizing its role as World Police. Unfortunately, this will involve exposing powerful Jewish interests in the US, which is a very difficult to do without detonating political land mines -- but it is something the US has to do.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

I may regret this, but... (none / 0) (#235)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 06:03:11 PM EST

Since you're sounding well-reasoned today:

Does it matter that they're Jewish? Why is it their religion that you point at?

Wouldn't you get further by broadening your campaign to encompass all the hegemonising bastards in the country, instead of just the Jewish ones? At the moment, for example, the Bush clan seems to be doing rather well, and Prescott Bush was a Nazi sympathiser.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

There's a War... (none / 0) (#246)
by Baldrson on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 09:05:51 AM EST

The devolution of powers to the stats does remove from destructive central controls all "hegemonising bastards in the country".

So I addressed that.

The problem right now is a bunch of kids are over running around Iraq killing Iraqis and getting killed for no reason anyone can describe that makes sense except for the extraordinary power of the AIPAC and neocon Zionists to influence our politics.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Environmental protection (2.33 / 3) (#210)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:54:14 PM EST

your final lines about protecting the environment seems to require an intervention by a central authority.

Yes, as I said this is really problematic -- irreducably so since "human rights" seem to be out of ecological context -- but the essential direction is laid out so we can think about the issue. Thinking about the issue is the first step to looking at solutions.

It is fairly easy to define the limit to central government's authority as "'No' means no!" when some group or individual objects to contact with another group or individual. However, other species don't have the power of expression that humans do, and it is difficult to define their "rights" in any case. Yes, I think it is imporant that the central government intercede on behalf of freedom of association and on behalf of biodiversity. These are inescapable responsibilities so far as I can intuit. All I'm saying in addition to that is that humans have the capacity to adpt themselves, with technology, to areas of lesser biodiversity -- potentially even lifeless environments, and that this is indeed perhaps the defining feature of humanity that makes it in service of more than itself.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

The insidious effects of all racist ideologies! (2.60 / 5) (#202)
by crunchycookies on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 11:44:28 AM EST

Your dissertation illustrates the insidious nature and attraction of all racist ideologies. You are saying, "we just want a state where we can exclude people that we don't like". "We will offer them the option of leaving, with compensation of course". Sounds wonderful! In practice it is quite different.

That is the basis of all such ideologies. The Nazis just wanted a place where only good Aryan people could live. The Jews and others were "encouraged to leave". Unfortunately some did not get the message. Remember that the Holocaust with the death camps did not start until the beginning of the war. The persecution of the Jews started years before, when the Nazis came to power. Apparently the persecution of the Jews did not convince all of them to leave. Some did leave, most did not. The Nazis decided that sterner measures were necessary.

Suppose America had adopted your approach during the civil rights movement. We could have said to Martin Luther King; "Please tell your people to leave, we don't like black people. America is a white country." Would they just leave? The KKK advocates that they leave.

What if America decides that we are a Christian nation. Would all the Jews just leave? Would we use "sterner measures" to make them go?

All such ideologies of hate have a utopian ideal at their core. The communists just wanted to "perfect" mankind. The Fascists wanted to do away with messy democracy and provide rule by the elite. Apartheid wanted to have a country for white people in Africa. The Zionists just want a country where Jews would rule. There is a universal desire to impose order on society and have it populated by the "right " type of people. It is a desire that must be resisted because of the dark deeds required to make the ideal a reality. Adherents of such ideologies are fond of statements like "you must break a few eggs to make an omelet". The eggs tend to object and fight back.

When times are turbulent people like you advocate brutal solutions to problems. Ariel Sharon is the perfect example. I hope that your words find no fertile soil. I hope that the Israelis come to see that they cannot have peace through oppression. I hope that they give up their racist ideology and grant the Palestinians their rights.



[ Parent ]

The Nazis would never have come to power. (1.00 / 3) (#206)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:12:43 PM EST

If Weimar Germany had had a legitimate government -- that is to say recognizing the right to secede -- there would never have been a "Greater Germany" for the Nazis to take over. Indeed, it is unlikely that WW I would have occurred had it not been for this idea of a "Greater Germany" arising from the Austro Hungarian empire's equally illegitimate dominion over others.

The worst Jews would have likely experienced in a realistic German-speaking domain adopting the sort of federalism described in the article, would have been eminent-domain compensated expulsions from some rural provinces. Would they have gone to Palestine and formed Israel? Many would have gone to Palestine but I strongly suspect there would have been a lot of support from Germany for their migration and settlement and that assistance would probably have resulted in a far less violent and more positive foundation for the relationships between arabs and Israeli Jews.

But I'll humor you and accept that Germans are so uniform in their attitudes that all of the German-speaking provinces would have voluntarily joined together to form a unified Germany -- and that they would have elected Hitler in 1933 in a hysterical reaction to the genocide of Ukranians by the communists. If Hitler had pursued eminent domain compensation of Jews rather than events such as Kristalnacht, there would probably not have occurred a declaration of war on Germany by Jews worldwide, as there was. Furthermore, in all likelihood if Poland had involved itself appropriately in this approach to dispute resolution, the Germany speaking provinces of Poland would probably have voluntarily left Poland and joined this (unlikely) Greater Germany -- thereby gutting the motivation of Hitler's invasion of Poland (which was what precipitated WW II).

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

You need to do more reading about US racists (2.50 / 2) (#207)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:29:29 PM EST

Suppose America had adopted your approach during the civil rights movement. We could have said to Martin Luther King; "Please tell your people to leave, we don't like black people. America is a white country." Would they just leave? The KKK advocates that they leave.

First you are fundamentally misunderstanding the proposal in a way that is rather difficult to do. The essay criticizes central government arbitration of values (other than the enlightenment values of experimentation) and specifically recommends states as the first-order devolution of such arbitration.

Moreover, you don't know the history of 60's racists very well to make such comments.

George Lincoln Rockwell came to an understanding with Malcolm X regarding separtism and even donated to the Nation of Islam. This understanding has held true for the most part to the present day. There are individuals within NoI and white nationalism who are hostile to the peaceful self-determiantion of other races, just as there are hysterical individuals in any in any ideology, but every prominent leader of every racist group in the United States has indicated they would settle for self-determination for the people of their race who desire such.

PS: I beleive it was this understanding between Rockwell and X that got them both assassinated, within a very short time, by the powers that be.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

This is very true (none / 1) (#209)
by fhotg on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:53:35 PM EST

Unfortunately what you are saying is way over the head of most people here. This is not lack of intelligence but lack of understanding of history and culture.

But then, it should get to the most ignorant nerd that the promotion of seemingly simple solutions to complex problems reeks like scam. In this case history is full of examples for the incorrectness of B.'s assumptions (these usually involve cruel massmurders, ethnical cleansing, torture ... the worst people are capable of) and I can't think of any historical examples that would corrobate B.'s phantasies.

WAKE THE FUCK UP, people. Baldrson might be on his meds now, he still is a fucking racist.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

So where's your fucking article? (none / 1) (#236)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 06:10:23 PM EST

If he's a racist, racists can write good articles by mistake.

Look, question the guy's motives all you like, and even make sure that his motives don't twist the points he makes.

But when a good idea comes along, and it makes sense, and even when you think "Hmm, better just make sure this isn't turning me redneck" it's still good, why not consider it?

And more importantly, if you can write a better article, perhaps one that defeats this one's conclusions in a similarly well-thought-out manner, do so.

Put up or shut up, bro.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 1) (#237)
by fhotg on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 06:59:07 PM EST

for exemplifying "way over the head of most people here".

See, there is no good idea or even a "point" in this article as everyone with a faint idea of history will attest to.

That stuff is well written in that it contains no gaping logical holes. That doesn't prevent it from being pure phantasy with no relation to reality whatsoever. Societies do not work that way.

No, I don't write articles on your request unless you put up some appropriate tuition fees. Read a book.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

The point of self-determination (none / 0) (#204)
by Gartogg on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 12:40:52 PM EST

It is simply silly to say that allowing each place to legsislate for themselves is going to lead to rascism; Israel is a perfect example of exactly the opposite of what you claim; If the "palestinians" could legislate for themselves this would never happen: If one state had laws against people of other races, those races would simply leave; there is ENOUGH ROOM in the world.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, no. (3.00 / 2) (#216)
by Coryoth on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:04:15 PM EST

If one state had laws against people of other races, those races would simply leave; there is ENOUGH ROOM in the world.

Unfortunately that's not really true.  There isn't enough room in the world for everyone to enjoy, say, a North American standard of living - we simply don't have enough room to grow enough food, drill for enough oil, mine for enough iron etc. to let everyone have a North American standard of living.

You don't expect everyone to have a North American standard of living?  Some will be better off, and some will be worse off?  Sure, but then where are people going to move to?  All the big 'L' libertarians in the US could follow your advice and just move somewhere else - like Somalia, which is surprisingly close to having the sort of libertarian policies they want.  Seen and libertaerians moving to Somlia recently?  If the US decided to reverse the Civil Rights movement and go back to lynchings... where exactly are the many millions of black people going to up and move to all of a sudden?  I don't think Europe would be very happy facing 80 million or more immigrants in a year.  That was part of the issue in Nazi Germany - the jews were initially encouraged to leave... but where exactly do they go when the rest of Europe is quickly being put under the Nazi boot?  Getting into the US is not as trivial as you would think.

Jedidiah.

[ Parent ]

What I read. (3.00 / 3) (#193)
by nutate on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:23:48 AM EST

You have written that the autonomous regions must exist in order to allow the full recognition of the American experiment as implied by the consitution of the United States.  I agree partly with this in that any region will be partially autonomous vis a vis information sharing through the localized media, but geographical delineations already exist in law as the federal, state, region, county, town, and city levels.  Since such autonomous regions exist, with varying populations (down to neighborhood / block levels) to individual households, why are we worried?

I worry about the federal government legislating against pursuits that I find benign.  The actions which I consider harmless which other find harmful should be moderated by the government.  The moderation of smoking in public, the limitations on drinking and driving, the limitations on unfair business practices, the limitations on exploitative labor practices, et cetera act as filters which protect me from my fellow citizens.  Surely this sounds like a libertarian perspective, but I feel that the government also can effectively participate in enabling services for others and essentially saving me more trouble later.  I like just paying a tax and magically having maintained roads, fire, police, education, health care, food stamps, welfare, social security, public works, scientific research (back into my pocket), and so on.  It's easy for me.  Some people don't get much out of that list.  For them, I think they want a different government.

I can't go into what different government this hypothetical other group of people would want, but perhaps others can.  I'd would be glad to hear.

You'd would wouldn't you'd [n/t] (none / 0) (#194)
by nutate on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:25:29 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Geographical delineations exist... (2.00 / 2) (#198)
by skyknight on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:10:19 AM EST

but you have to remember that there is a hierarchical tree structure and that any given node in tree can have dramatic effects on lower nodes, and that any given lower node can only have minimal effect on higher nodes. As such, one has to be very careful about the tasks that are delegated to higher nodes in the tree as they are inescapable facts of life with which one must live short of getting into a different branch of the tree. When laws are enacted at the root node, i.e. the federal government, then there is no escaping them short of leaving the country which is a rather unpleasant and undesirable option as far as I am concerned and one that I do not even consider. Or alternatively you can just look at the tree structure as being rooted not in a country but in continents, or planets, solar systems, whatever. :-)

In any case, prudent governance would dictate that various government activities were pushed as far down the tree as reasonably possible without becoming computationally or logistically intractable. You probably don't want every town individually contracting with Raytheon to get its very own Patriot Missile Battery. This task is better done at the federal level. However, when it comes to many moral issues you want it pushed as far down the tree as possible, at to least cities, and preferably all the way down to families or individuals.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]

stricter hierarchy is the goal of conservatism (2.00 / 2) (#222)
by nutate on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 06:04:24 PM EST

Conservatism seems to be based on pushing power control to the top, perhaps not the top of government, but to those who have the greatest wealth. That is the danger. The flatter the hierarchy, the better off we all are. Ideally the UN would act as a oversight organization for groups like the Universal Postal Union, ISO, and Interpol type organizations.

But I agree completely that things must be pushed down the tree.

[ Parent ]

Consider refactoring a better model (none / 1) (#223)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 06:24:02 PM EST

Refactoring is a critical object design methodology that rarely if ever ends up with a flat, or vertical, class hierarchy. Something analogous to this emerges from the choices of free individuals if allowed geographic assiation.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Really? Front Page? (1.00 / 4) (#201)
by ShiftyStoner on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 09:14:01 AM EST

 Kewl, good work...
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
Deal with the devil (2.33 / 3) (#211)
by daigu on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:57:05 PM EST

The problem with this essay is you are too focused on states as a locus of power and not enough focused on the power of culture,mass communication & big business.

The creation of seperate communities based around a particular ideology, ethnic background or what have you is being essentially destroyed by a mass culture, mass socialization & and centralized business.

To create a system of seperate states in this way would also mean that you would have to have a means for controlling the interactions between them and a systematic way for people to move people from one community to another based on their "fit". It would still require a centralized government that could manage the interactions between states.

This is problematic both because it is not manageable in the long run on the scale you are talking about here and because it doesn't get at the central problem you raise of tempering centralized power.

I agree that true diversity is really about space. However, it isn't just geography space but space free of outside influences that can be controlled by communities and by individuals.

I think the biggest problem - or culprit - isn't addressed in your essay. It is the issue of community autonomy and how this is at odds with the ideology of big business.

In order for there to be distinct communities you need communities that have a significant degree of economic self-sufficiency, control over mass communiciations whether they are billboards or use of the broadcast spectrum in the community, it means the ability to have schools that operate using standards established by the communities and not a central government and so on.

The biggest obstacle to accomplishing this is not Christian or Islamic theocrats but the ideology of big business. Big business's values trump all other values when they are in conflict - whether they are conservative, liberal or religious. Providing big business with a legal structure to accomplish what it want to do is perhaps the biggest function of a centralized government - which big business needs much more than any liberal ideology. I think discussion of this aspect of the problem is the biggest whole in your essay.

Hmm (2.66 / 3) (#213)
by strlen on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 02:18:28 PM EST

Though this is pretty much what you've been saying all along, except this time you did without mentioning the Jews, I'm rather impressed.

But you would still like to use the government as a tool to do this, yet you're never going to receive a government like this, this simply isn't in their self interest as a government. Govermments don't act your self interest, they act in theirs.

One idea, I've come accross is creating of floating cities, which could move from one jurisdiction to another and simply create an economic situations where it wouldn't be simply profitable for any government to attack it.

I've come accross a website that somewhat advocates this idea, but it isn't the only one to do so: http://www.seastead.org/

Thus you could have your Odinist/Neo-Pagan/White Nationalist floating city, there can be a neo-hippie socialist worker anarcho-communist commune for majority of K5's denizens, a more or less libertarian "Las Vegas meets Amsterdam" floating city, as well as specialized floating city (one that may be of relevance to you is a floating space craft launch platform -- as you probably know, rockets have already been launched from ships at sea, close to the equator -- or perhaps a transhumanist medical experimentation city).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

An intermediate step... (3.00 / 2) (#215)
by Baldrson on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 02:55:55 PM EST

The problem with ideas like Seastead is they don't derive from a business plan to address a market. See my diary series on "How Tuna Can Save the World" for something that is quite viable now based on a demonstrated market and business. There are things you can do at a small scale even before that -- things developing into oceanic markets, like back 40 algae biodiesel/tilapia farms. I've been talking to folks with high solar flux acreages about this. We'll see how the early experiments go. The primary goal is low capitalization-of-entry but scalable techniques.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Biodiesel producing algae (none / 1) (#221)
by strlen on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:26:44 PM EST

Very interesting idea, thanks for pointing that out to me. Makes a very good market plan, which deals with some of the issues with biodiesel production (namely the large amounts of biomass needed). Not to mention this could also be used to power a quasi-autonomous floating city.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#276)
by patrissimo1 on Sat Dec 04, 2004 at 09:45:03 PM EST

Why do you think that seastead does not derive from a business plan to address a market? Even just glancing at the book's table of contents would have shown you sections on The Market and Making Money. If you'd looked at those sections, you would have seen over a dozen business ideas, incuding discussion of what competitive advantages a seastead can leverage to become profitable. Naturally we mention fishing and aquaculture, and we briefly touch biodiesel, although I'm skeptical about it. Please try to learn about a project before you criticize it. We welcome informed feedback via email or our commenting system.

[ Parent ]
i'll tell ya what i like about chinese people (1.28 / 7) (#218)
by Liberal Conservative on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 03:46:59 PM EST

they persevere and shit

miserable failure

signed,
   liberal conservative

Significance here (1.33 / 3) (#224)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:38:06 PM EST

The right to leave one's country has little meaning without someplace to go. For that matter, all political rights are meaningless without the option to pick up and leave. What make this article important is that Baldrson has seriously devoted himself to helping expand the resource base available to humanity-i.e. to expand frontiers. The other point here-which is more purely political. Bush most likely won this election by ramping up vote fraud. That case has yet to be statistically proven, but the various stories around Diebold voting machines are scary. What that means is that to root out this emerging neo-con totalitarianism, there will need to be a new democratic coaltition. The centralists like Kerry and Hilary Clinton need to be put on the sidelines--and a play needs to be made to grab a substantial, constituency that is now GOP(and has the actual power to count votes). 51% wasn't enough to beat Bush in 2000. 52% wasn't enough to beat Bush in 2004. If folks want to beat McCain or Jeb Bush in 2008, they'll need something really overwhelming-like 60%---and this will need to come _after_ Bush has delivered some serious pork to the fundies which appears to be well in the works.

how would this help (none / 0) (#241)
by bfoo on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 05:53:12 AM EST

Once the rest of the christians get here to SC, there are still gonna be new generations that have live in a world of suck. Besides, we already have a state dedicated to frothing at the mouth suit and tie wearing activists that can nuke anybody they want without even needing a background in physics. To label them right and left and give each a state is just splitting hairs.

Freedom and Truth (none / 0) (#244)
by Baldrson on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:46:32 AM EST

The big thing migration as dispute resolution gives you is freedom. You can live within the society of your ideals without warfare.

Truth also emerges by allowing systematic comparison of the actual results of different ideals. That's the enlightement's valuation of the experiment as source of truth.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Where is the common goal? (none / 0) (#243)
by Alias on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:16:09 AM EST

With the model you propose, the United States of America effectively cease to exist, to be replaced by a plethora of small states. Why? Because these states have no reason to be under an umbrella State.

Centralization, like Federalism, is neither a good or a bad thing; it's a tool to set up a policy. If you want to have a unified state, centralize; if you prefer to have a looser community of autonomous states, federalism is the way to go.

I think the Big Lesson of the past few years, is that the American Dream is dying across the planet -- and in the US as well. America is not "special" anymore, it's just a country like any other.
Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon

Truth and Freedom to the New Frontier (none / 0) (#245)
by Baldrson on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 08:54:57 AM EST

Truth and Freedom are sufficient but JFK captured an additional, underlying, dimension of the American character with his slogan of "The New Frontier". He articulated a great goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before the end of the 60's.

I don't think people should underestimate how powerful his vision was and how much it affected the vision of the 60's.

In retrospect he should have legislated privatization into space transportation the same way commercial satellites were privatized from the dawn of the space program. A civilian government agency on control of a transportation vehicle is destructive to the vision of "The New Frontier".

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

The "Experiment" is fixed (none / 0) (#249)
by stpna5 on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 11:38:23 AM EST

Politics was not involved as it has been totally supplanted by disinformation and manipulation of the citizen and non-citizen public. The results are in and "the American people have spoken" sez the prez. If two rich white guys from the owner class spend over a billion dollars on an election campaign and don't seem to engage the intellects of the hoi-polloi, oh well. Surprise? As H. L. Mencken said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Whle W. and the oil-and-gas junta have been schmoozing the evangelical base, the coupon clippers and launching yet another greedy war to dispose of capital, the European Union and China are happily positioning themselves for the looming economic deconstruction of the USA.

Thus we replace a Democracy (1.50 / 6) (#254)
by Norjak on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 04:22:03 PM EST

with a Crapocracy. Let us really diversify by celebrating everything different from us. Rather than just tolerate it, and accept that we are all different and equal, let us just flush the whole idea of Democracy down the toliet. Majority votes no longer count, let us put the minorities in control. Let us have 10% of the population choose the President and Government leaders, and take away the right to vote from the other 90%.

While we are at it, legalize everything, because whatever is outlawed offends people that it is outlawed. After that, who really needs jails?

Let us also get rid of the Constitution, after all, we aren't using it any more? Let us also get rid of the courts, up to the supreme court. After all, they have too much power, and were all appointed by Reagan and Bush Sr. so they are biased judges anyway.

Let us get rid of the electorial college, state votes no longer count. We elect a President by the popularity of the 10% minority of the population.

New reality TV shows, "Lions vs. Christians", "Live Crucifictions of Moderates and Conservatives", "Burning Churches", and "Deportation of the Majority".

Also terrorists are welcomed to blow stuff up, crash planes into buildings, and there will be no more wars from the USA over it. We'll just write the terrorists and bad countries they live in a note denouncing their actions. That should solve the terrorist situation. The endless notes shall make them give up hate and take up love, and then embrace and celebrate all the minority's viewpoints. Before a terrorist blows you up, be sure to say "I am sorry I offended you, I offer up my life."

Why this could bring about world peace. Solve world hunger and poverty. Cure AIDS and Cancer. Everyone will be the same, all countries equal in every way. All we got to do is ignore what the majority wants and put the minorities in charge.

Does this sound like a good idea?

Personally I think Orion Blastar was right, quit acting like crybabies. Learn to survive, and then vote in 2008 to make a difference. Orion talked about the negativeness used in the campaigns, he said to focus on the positive. Orion made fun of the people who were upset to teach them a lesson in life, that things do not always go your way. Do what you can in a positive way, because Kerry campaigners were negative they swung a lot of votes over to Bush. Bush also had the Christian vote. Had Kerry addressed Christians too that voting for him was not in violation of the church, and showed proof that his way was a better way than Bush's way, and stuck by his issues and not changed them, Kerry might have won. Kerry needed to educate people that there needs to be a seperation of church and state, but that church needs to be respected by its members, and they cannot enforce their way unto other Americans, for that would be Unconstintutional.

Orion was heading in the right direction before he died. He just didn't know how to explain it very well.

If you want to leave the country leave. If you want to help us clean up our mess we made, then stay and find something to do and be a responsible American and do the right thing.

Honestly you think you will have it better in other parts of the world? Try living in a Fundamental Islamic state as a Homosexual or member of a different religion, think they will leave you alone there, or will they behead you? Will they drag you own the street and step on you, or welcome you as an equal? Try living in a third world country and get a job and try to live on $100USD a month. No cable TV, microwave, air conditioning, health insurance, cell phones, car, or other things for you. You'll be spending most of your money on housing, food, and clothes if you can afford them.

Your best chance is in Canada, Western Europe, or possibly Japan. If you can survive the culture shock, you might be able to make it there. Just don't think you will have a USA lifestyle, and try to blend in.

Huh? (1.25 / 4) (#261)
by JavaLord on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 04:06:16 PM EST

Bush supporters are taking glee in encouraging them to do so, knowing full well many have no options for emigration.

Oh no, we aren't taking glee, we are dead serious. If there are 'no options' we will be glad to PAY for the leftist whiny socialist fuckwads to move out. Seriously, we can start a fund for them, and if they pledge to move out of the country and not come back for 20 years we will pay their relocation expense.

We don't encourage them because we 'know full well' they don't have options, we encourage them because WE WANT THEM GONE. The extreme left wing of the democratic party is dragging this country down.

Remind you of something? (none / 0) (#262)
by Kiskaana on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 08:59:24 AM EST

"leftist whiny socialist fuckwads". WOW. I especially like the word socialist in this combination. If I remember correctly, socialists were all about driving those who disagree with them away. Hmmm... sounds like you could fit in this description. British newspaper's after election headline says: How can 9,000,000 (not sure about the actual number) be so dumm? You just answered this question for me. Thanks.
"Bad people are punished by society law, and good people are punished by Murphy's law"--George from "Dead like me"
[ Parent ]
Compared to... (none / 1) (#263)
by Dyolf Knip on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:40:41 PM EST

...the extreme right wing of the Republican party, which is now residing in the White House and doing everything it can to butcher the Constitution and freedom.

"Dragging this country down"?  Just what 'grand vision' are we keeping you from realizing?  A theocracy?  Glassing the entire mideast with nukes?  Having a citizenry consisting only of heterosexual christians?  A world straight out of the Turner Diaries?

As far as I can tell, it's some combination of all of it.  Republicans in power have already stated that they don't consider atheists to be citizens, and republicans like yourself are stating that they want to 'get rid' of every not of the party.  A huge prorportion of republicans truly believe that they are God's True Representatives on earth, and that anyone not voting for Bush are dirty heretics who don't deserve to live here.

Many of us want to leave because we've seen these exact events lead to some of the most horrific periods of human history.  An ideology-besotten party gains control of the country after using a highly exaggerated threat of an extrenal power.  Their treatment of critics at first consists of light censorship, ridicule, and demonizing, but later extends to an expressed desire to deport and eventually power to arrest them without cause.  Followed quickly by simply outlawing political opposotion altogether (half done; Dems and Reps have effectively done that between them years ago).  After that, it gets _much_ worse before it gets better.

We don't want to leave because of simple disagreement with The Powers That Be.  We want to leave the country because we are actually in fear for our lives.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

The two most liberal senators (none / 1) (#264)
by guet on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:04:13 AM EST

The extreme left wing of the democratic party

ha ha, only in America could the 'left wing' of the democractic party be called extreme. In the rest of the world they'd be viewed as centre-right!

As for the rest of your post - not a very good troll.

[ Parent ]

send money (none / 0) (#266)
by fran p on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 11:25:52 PM EST

On the off chance that you are not an idiot troll, please contact me for information on where to send that money you are so freely (liberaly?) throwing about.

[ Parent ]
So sorry for slowing the onslaught (none / 0) (#271)
by lightcap on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 11:26:42 PM EST

of Holy Wars, intolerance and the Mighty Corporate Agenda carried out in the name of Freedom and Liberty.

Give me a fucking break.

No, I'll stay and fight you every step of the way.  

Is the real threat in today's world the Terrorists or the Right?  Some days I'm not so sure.
Mommy, what were trees like?
[ Parent ]

Awesome (none / 0) (#265)
by Mason on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 07:45:42 PM EST

We get all the good states, suckers.  Enjoy freaking Oklahoma and Utah.

America has suffered worse than Bush.  On his own he's just a tinpot dictator, an idiot but no real threat.  The bigger issue is the radical Right, which has been yanking Republicans further to the past few decades.  Guys like Bush profit from the easy victories and legions of attack dogs that the radicals provide them with, but in the end he's a rich boy who wanted to one-up Daddy, and ideology just doesn't come into it.

No, the real danger is in the people who come after Bush.  When the Right radicalizes itself to an extent such that the mere existence of non-Christians, non-whites, and non-conservatives is untolerable, that's when the real games start.

A more federalistic society just isn't possible.  People can just move too quickly nowadays, and there's nothing to keep them from going where the jobs are or where the standards of living are higher.  Nothing short of a dissolution of the US would really put up the barriers necessary to diffuse the cultural conflicts that are growing.

Don't forget, everything of value is in the blue states.  It is in no one's interest to break up the union, really, as most the GDP is going where CA and NY go.  And given that there's a direct cash flow from the blue states to the red states (in the form of federal taxes), a union solely made of red states simply wouldn't work.  They depend too much on those liberal heathens that pay the bills.

You're not much of a values relativist are you? (none / 0) (#268)
by Baldrson on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:14:56 PM EST

Don't forget, everything of value is in the blue states.

Everything that you value is in the blue states, but there are other values you know, which is precisely why this coallition can work.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

You're wrong... (none / 0) (#270)
by Baldrson on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:53:39 PM EST

And given that there's a direct cash flow from the blue states to the red states (in the form of federal taxes)

I suspect what you are referring to are the subsidies of agribusinesses that have been fraudulently put forth as benefitting family farms. Don't buy it. The only people who support those programs really are the multinational agribusinesses. Most of the family farmers have been cleared off their lands and know those programs were a con game.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Europe an ethnostate? (none / 0) (#267)
by Nursie on Sat Nov 13, 2004 at 10:45:39 PM EST

I wonder what you mean?
The UK is becoming more and more diverse and in a truly diverse way - meaning that whilst most of the country (especially the more rural areas) are still mainly white, some areas are becoming overwhelmingly indian or pakistani, some are arab, some black, some are all mixed up together. The rest of europe is pretty much the same (AFAIK).

Meta Sigs suck.

European ethnostates (none / 0) (#269)
by Baldrson on Sun Nov 14, 2004 at 03:49:56 PM EST

It's fairly clear that much of Europe's territory is beyond being returning to any sort of indigenous state just as is the case for the New World. However, it makes a lot of sense to allow for more sovereignty among indigenous people's world-wide -- not just among Amerindians. America's reservations should be given more sovereignty and expanded as ethnostates, and similar ethostates should be respected among European peoples.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

I don't think that would happen, or be good (none / 0) (#275)
by Nursie on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 06:28:10 AM EST

Firstly, the people of europe are in general against seperatism within their countries and, increasingly, within the whole continent. We do not have any "indigenous" peoples who would have reservations of any sort, the peoples of europe have intermingled within and without their borders for thousands of years.

Secondly, we are becoming more, not less, united. The countries of europe are slowly opening up and joining with each other. It will be a while before it takes shape, and even longer before the largely xenophobic illiberal minorities realise that the drive of the semi-unification is for everyone's benfit, and it will be longer still until the EU works properly and is decenly accountable to the people. It will get there though. There is no need or want for ethnostates.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
The blue states will never willingly secede. (none / 0) (#272)
by pelliott on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 11:19:19 PM EST

The blue states will never willingly secede, unfortunately. Why? The Blue states are redistributionist. If the red states are separated from the blue states, the blue states will have less producers to redistribute from. Furthermore, takers will tend to migrate to the blue states from the red states and producers will tend to migrate away from the blue states to the red states. Would the people of the blue states want to put up a soviet style "Berlin wall" around their "country" in order to remain economicly viable? Once the redistributionists of Blue states think about economic consequences they will give up all thought of secession. Too bad.
---- There is no Religion Higher than Truth.
A common misconception (none / 0) (#273)
by hentai on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 03:36:18 PM EST

Perhaps you will find this interesting.

[ Parent ]
are you mad? (none / 0) (#274)
by zenofchai on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 03:18:20 PM EST

The Blue states are redistributionist. If the red states are separated from the blue states, the blue states will have less producers to redistribute from.

I read that a few times just to make sure that yes, you really did write the exact opposite of reality.

North Dakota, Mississippi, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Alabama, South Dakota, and Arkansas are all in the top 10 "takers" list.

New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, California, and New Tork are all in the top 10 "producers" list.

Bottom line? Red States Feed at the Federal Trough paid for by the blue states. Full data from taxfoundation.org might be of more interest.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

The Failure of the American Experiment | 277 comments (252 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
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